Data centre investments to top €3.7bn

Report estimates increase in data centres will lead to 18% rise in demand for electricity

Planning permission was recently granted to US technology giant Apple to build a new data centre near Athenry, Co Galway.

Planning permission was recently granted to US technology giant Apple to build a new data centre near Athenry, Co Galway.

 

in an overall investment valued at €3.7 billion.

A new report compiled by consultants Callaghan Engineering, which includes unpublished applications for connections to the national grid, shows that a sharp rise in the number of data centres in the next five years will lead to an 18 per cent rise in demand for electricity.

There is believed to be ample capacity in the EirGrid network to support additional loads, but with most data centres being built in or around the capital, Dublin is rapidly approaching saturation point.

It says data-centre loads may need to be spread throughout the country rather than in grid hotspots.

Ireland has become popular with companies wishing to set up data centres in Europe due to the country’s energy and connectivity infrastructure, low corporate tax rate, and climate.

Five years

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Planning permission to build a data centre on a 500-acre greenfield site near Athenry, Co Galway, by Apple was granted by Galway County Council last month. The company is to invest €850 million developing the centre, which is expected to be operational in 2017.

The Data-Centre Implications for Energy Use in Ireland report, which was commissioned by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), indicates an additional 1,136 MW of electrical capacity is required to meet the projected demand from new centres.