Amazon’s Irish Project G to go ahead
Wed 24 Jan 2018
An objector to data centre plans made by Amazon and Apple has failed to stop the former getting approval for a series of sites in the Dublin suburb of Mulhuddart.
Dubbed ‘Project G’, Amazon has made ambitious plans for an €850 million data centre (approx. £743 million) in the north-west of the Irish capital.
However, the project stalled due to objections from Allan Daly, an engineer based in Athenry who has also made objections to Apple’s project in his hometown, which has only just been approved despite initial plans being submitted in 2015.
An Bord Pleanala, Ireland’s national planning body, has now given the first phase of the project the go ahead, according to reporting by the Irish Independent. Amazon already has a major presence in the country, employing 2500 people and owning a number of data centres in Dublin for use by AWS.
The plans for ‘Project G’ set out the Seattle giant’s intention to build a campus of facilities on the 26-hectare site, with a total of eight data centres.
John Desmond, senior planning inspector at An Bord Pleanala, penned a 120-page report in which he recommended that planning permission be granted. In it, he argued that bringing infrastructure of this type to the country should be seen as a positive.
Daly, the objector, raised concerns over whether or not the Irish network would be able to handle the increased demand from massive data centres such as those proposed by Amazon. In his objection, he argued that the local authority, Fingal County Council, should not grant permission until an assessment of renewable energy levels in the country had been completed.
At a hearing in September, Daly argued that Amazon’s Irish division had not provided sufficient information about how much power the data centre would require from the national grid. At this meeting, Amazon withdrew plans for a 220kV substation that it had previously proposed.
According to John Spain, planning consultant for Amazon, the total power usage of the completed data centre would come to around 35MW. This, according to Spain, amounts to around half a percent of the ‘Single Energy Market’ demand in Ireland.