A data centre developer has received conditional planning permission to build US online giant Amazon’s second data centre in Drogheda, with the two sites set to consume more power than the whole of Kilkenny.
Following approval provided to Tunis Properties from Meath County Council, Amazon is set to develop two 48 megawatts (MW) data centres at the IDA Business and Technology Park in Drogheda. Combined, the two could represent an investment of up to around €900m, according to estimates from construction consultancy Mitchell McDermott’s 2021 Data Centre info card.
Development on Amazon’s first data centre in Drogheda is already under way. According to planning files, the developer hopes to begin building Amazon’s second data centre in the second or third quarter of 2023, with an ambition to complete it in 2026.
Both data centres are expected to create around 50 jobs each. The second site is also set to create 400 construction jobs at the peak of activity.
News of Amazon’s data centre comes as concerns mount over Ireland’s ability to power the growing number of such sites. Last week, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) told Eirgrid and ESB to prioritise applications for data centre connections in locations where power supplies aren’t squeezed.
Eirgrid has connection agreements for 1,800MW worth of data centres, with applications for a further 2,000MW. Currently, Ireland has a demand peak of 5,500MW.
According to Eirgrid, Kilkenny consumes 60MW of power. Amazon’s two Drogheda data centres would require a combined 96MW when operational, the equivalent to over one and a half time that of the town.
In planning documents, a consultant said Amazon had committed to offtake power from three renewable wind farm projects in Cork, Donegal and Galway. These projects could add 229 MW of energy to the grid each year, producing enough green energy to power 185,000 homes.