Amazon Web Services (AWS) has secured planning permission for three new data centres in north Dublin. The development will be located on a 65-acre land holding at Cruiserath Road, Dublin 15 and will have a combined power load of 73MW. The project has been met with opposition from environmental groups, who are concerned about the increased emissions that the data centres will generate. However, Fingal County Council has concluded that the development is consistent with European and Government policy concerning the development of digital infrastructure. The council has also included a condition that AWS must have a Corporate Purchase Power Agreement (CPPA) in place prior to the operation of the data centres, and this agreement must demonstrate that the energy consumed by the data centres will be matched by new AWS renewable energy generation.
Amazon has stated that the proposed development will create additional direct, indirect and induced economic and employment benefits, in addition to those that have already been generated by the company. The approval of the three new AWS data centres is a significant development for the Irish economy, with the data centre industry being a major employer in Ireland and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The development is also a sign of Ireland’s commitment to becoming a hub for digital infrastructure, especially as Ireland is already home to a number of other major data centre operators, including Google, Microsoft and Meta.
The inclusion of a condition requiring AWS to have a CPPA in place is a positive step toward curtailing environmental concerns. The council said in its planner’s report that the proposals by AWS “demonstrate a clear pathway to decarbonise and provide a net zero data services, in terms of the targets set for the proposed development.” The approval of the three new AWS data centres is seen as a positive development for Ireland by many, though it’s not without its downsides.
A spokesperson for AWS said: “The proposed development represents a significant investment that will create additional direct, indirect and induced economic and employment benefits, in addition to those that have already been generated by AWS. As such, it is fully consistent with the Government’s preference, as set out in the Government Statement on the Role of Data Centres, for data centres to be associated with strong economic activity and employment.”