Echelon gets go-ahead for €500m data centre in Arklow

Bord Pleanála dismisses appeal against planning permission for 100MW centre

Echelon Data Centres has been granted planning permission for a 45,000sq m (484,000sq ft) data centre in the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow.

Planning permission for the 100MW centre was originally granted by Wicklow Co Council in February, but was the subject of an appeal, which has now been dismissed by An Bord Pleanála.

The €500 million development, which will create 90 full-time operational roles and support 450 jobs in construction, forms part of a substantial investment by the company, which has another €500 million site in Clondalkin in Dublin.

Echelon Data Centres’ first tranche of capacity – at the Clondalkin site – will come on stream in the second quarter of 2021, and the company expects to have availability for occupation at the Arklow site by the third quarter of the same year.


Echelon said the Arklow site, when combined with the site in Clondalkin as well as “further sites we have identified”, will be in a position to offer hyperscale tenants a potential 300MW of capacity in an Irish availability zone.

Echelon said it was committed to finding “100 per cent green and renewable solutions – wind, solar, biomass – to provide sustainable power options to all of its data centres”.

The company’s chief operating officer Graeme McWilliams said the planning decision in Arklow “removes a significant uncertainty for us and clears the path to delivering a facility that will enhance Ireland’s developing data centre offer”.

The centre, he continued, will meet “growing demand from global organisations in ecommerce, telecommunications, digital broadcasting, AI and the internet of things”.

“Today’s ruling shows that Ireland is open for data centre business, and that the necessary decisions can be taken within a framework that allows developers a level of certainty.

“As the dataverse – the amount of data that is created each year – is set to triple in size by 2025, demand for facilities such as ours will increase rapidly and Ireland is well-placed to accommodate them.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter