Amazon’s €900m Dublin data centre to run on renewable energy

Planning inquiry opens into first phase of proposed plant in Mulhuddart, west Dublin

A planning inquiry has opened into plans by Amazon Web Services for the first phase of a €900 million data centre to be located in Mulhuddart, north Co Dublin.

The application is being opposed by engineer Allan Daly from Athenry, Co Galway, who also opposed plans by Apple to develop an €850 million data centre near Athenry.

David Hughes, an architect with an address in Dublin who submitted an observation on Apple’s project in Athenry, is also objecting to the Amazon plan.

The An Bord Pleanála hearing in Dublin on Tuesday was told the first phase of Amazon’s plan involved building a 7,000sq m (75,347sq ft) data centre on a 26-hectare site in Mulhuddart. A further seven data centres of the same size would be built later, if the global demand for cloud computing continues to grow.


The cost of the first phase has been estimated at €200 million.

In his submission, Mr Daly told the board the developer had failed to disclose the amount of electricity the data centre will use. He said this was “an impact that requires assessment under the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.”


Mike Beary general manager for Amazon Dublin handed the inquiry a letter from the IDA, which owns the site, citing the “crucial” importance of attracting such investment to Ireland.

Mr Beary said the site had been zoned by Fingal County Council for a range of industrial uses which specifically referred to “data centres” and the company produced a range of experts to argue the development would have no significant negative effects on the ecology, noise, traffic and air in the vicinity.

Amazon already employs 2,500 people in Ireland and was committed to the country, Mr Beary said. While the development would create as many as 45O construction jobs at its peak, he said the operation of the facility would support only 30 on-site technicians and support staff.

Evidence was also heard from Amazon Web Services’ Kenneth Matthews that “the proposed development will require 35MW of electricity”. He said the figure represents about 0.5 per cent of the all-island peak demand. The energy would come from a renewable energy supplier, he said.

John Melvin of the Commission for Energy Regulation told the Bord that Ireland has excess capacity in its power generation, which was more than enough for the data centre.

The hearing continues.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist