Data centre ‘moratorium’ hitting job creation, Equinix claims

A review of data centre connection policy by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities is due to published in the coming weeks

Current data centre policies are stalling the creation of thousands of jobs and hitting the Republic’s economy, developer Equinix has said.

The data centre company provides digital services to hundreds of Irish and multinational businesses, which it said helps to maintain 53,000 jobs, or 2 per cent of the Republic’s workforce.

A new report by accountants KPMG shows a new facility Equinix wants to build in Clondalkin, Dublin, would support a further 10,000 jobs and contribute €200 million to the economy, the company said.

However, Equinix maintains that current policies on data centres amount to a “moratorium” and meant the facility was refused a connection to the national electricity grid.


Peter Lantry, the company’s managing director for Ireland, noted the KPMG research it commissioned shows the “vast spectrum” of businesses using its services.

“We are supporting companies of all sizes, from multinationals to smaller Irish enterprises, with more than 30 of our customers having fewer than 20 employees,” he said.

“All of these enterprises are not just key for our economic growth, but vital in our daily lives too.”

National grid operator EirGrid said there is no moratorium on connecting data centres.

The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, which oversees the Republic’s energy supplies, has been reviewing data centre connection policies since 2021.

The commission recently put its findings out for consultation and is due to publish the review in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, data centres can get connections if they meet certain criteria, including that they have their own backup generation and are close to sources of renewable energy.

Mr Lantry pointed out that the proposed Clondalkin facility, DB8, includes a connection to the natural gas network, allowing it to generate its own electricity if needed.

He said Equinix data centres can add further backup for extra security if needed.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas