Wednesday 23 May 2018

Amazon gets the green light for new data centre in Dublin

Photo: AP
Photo: AP
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Amazon has been given the go-ahead for its latest data centre in Dublin, with planning having been granted for an 88,000 sq ft facility in Tallaght.

But a local community group, which broadly welcomed the project, has raised concerns about an over-concentration of data centres in the area.

The Amazon data centre will be located at the former site of warehousing and distribution firm Barretts. It will be situated next to an existing Amazon data centre.

The Tallaght Community Council told South Dublin County Council that the latest application from Amazon for the data centre at the former Barretts site had "triggered a concern for us" in relation to "proper planning" for the area.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Photo: AP

"We are not objecting to this latest development as all the development (sic) are concentrated near one super-site as an annex," the community council chair, Gerard Stockhil, told the planning authority last year.

"However, it is wise to raise concerns at this stage over the possibility of future over-concentration in one area," he added. Mr Stockhil pointed out that data centres don't employ many people.

"Tallaght needs an industrial development that will employ large numbers, and all our prime land should not, in future, be given to low-employment operations," he said.

Last year, Amazon applied for planning permission for the first stage of what could be a huge, €1bn data centre hub in Mulhuddart, Dublin, which it has dubbed Project G.

Amazon initially submitted plans for a 223,000 sq ft data centre there that could cost as much as €200m to develop.

But under a plan called 'Project G', Amazon said that it might build up to seven data centres at the location, which is owned by the IDA.

However, plans for the initial 'Project G' data centre in Mulhuddart were objected to by Allan Daly, the Galway-based engineer who was a key opponent of the planned €1bn Apple data centre in Athenry.

But in January this year, An Bord Pleanála rejected opposition to the Amazon project, which will involve an initial 223,000 sq ft data centre.

A senior planning inspector with An Bord Pleanála said the provision of such major digital infrastructure "must surely be viewed positively".

The IDA told the planning watchdog that data centres are crucial for Ireland's continuing competitiveness.

Mr Daly had concerns regarding the amount of electricity that the data centre would consume. A large data centre can use as much electricity as a town the size of Drogheda.

EirGrid has embarked on a major project to reinforce the electricity transmission system in the west of Dublin.

Irish Independent

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