Business Irish

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Amazon gets nod for Dublin power line

Internet giant Amazon has been given the go ahead to build a 2km-long electricity line on Dublin's northside to help power future data centre development. Photo: Bloomberg
Internet giant Amazon has been given the go ahead to build a 2km-long electricity line on Dublin's northside to help power future data centre development. Photo: Bloomberg

Fearghal O'Connor

Internet giant Amazon has been given the go ahead to build a 2km-long electricity line on Dublin's northside to help power future data centre development.

Amazon Data Services Ireland Ltd (ADSIL) was given approval by An Bord Pleanala to run the double circuit 110kv underground line between a substation at Belcamp to its site at Clonshaugh, close to the M1.

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Consultants for ADSIL told the planning authority in a report that the new underground line was required "to support current power demand and future growth within the Clonshaugh area inclusive of, but not limited to, the power requirements for the existing and future developments within the Amazon site".

Amazon had sought and was granted permission to apply directly to the board under strategic infrastructure legislation.

The multinational has proposed to build the new power line and to pass it on to Eirgrid which, in conjunction with ESB Networks, will operate it as part of the national grid.

The site, which was once home to an industrial diamond manufacturing plant, has been redeveloped by Amazon in recent years and now houses a number of its major data centres, with further construction underway.

Amazon's Irish unit operates several data hub facilities in the Dublin area and in 2018 it secured planning permission for the first phase of a new €1bn data services centre at Mulhuddart in Co Dublin. It is just one of a large number of major tech companies to operate data centre facilities in Ireland.

Last week, the Irish Academy of Engineers published a report that estimated that an investment of €9bn will be required over the next eight years in Ireland's electricity sector to meet increased demand for power from data centres.

The report said that by 2027, data centres would push up power usage in Ireland by 10 terra watt hours per annum to 40 terra watt hours and that it was not currently clear how the investment needed to cope with that would be funded.

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