Amazon Gets Green Light for Tallaght Data Centre
by Josh Anderson
DUBLIN, IRELAND — Amazon has been given the green light for its 88,000 square foot data centre in the Tallaght neighborhood of Dublin. However, while the local community has largely been welcoming of the project, some citizens are raising concerns about the consequences of a potential over-concentration of data centres in the region. The data centre will be constructed next to an existing Amazon facility, and on the former site of Barretts, a warehousing and distribution firm.
The Tallaght Community Council’s Chairman, Gerard Stockhil articulated the concerns of some in the community when addressing the South Dublin County Council in late 2017. “We are not objecting to this latest development as all the development (sic) are concentrated near one super-site as an annex,” said Stockhil. “However, it is wise to raise concerns at this stage over the possibility of future over-concentration in one area…Tallaght needs an industrial development that will employ large numbers, and all our prime land should not, in future, be given to low-employment operations.”
And of course the power load necessary to build more and more data centres has given some in Ireland pause. The current power load in the Dublin metropolitan area is about 1200 mega volt amps (a figure that accumulated over 90 years), while the number of data centre applications for the region totals about 1,400 mega volts amps.
Findings such as this led to Allan Daly, an engineer based in Athenry, Ireland, to formally object to a 1 Billion-Euro data centre project by AWS in Northern Dublin. Daly claimed that the energy grid could not support the energy load necessary for the project. Though that appeal was rejected, the process made headlines and highlighted the energy concerns surrounding not only data centre development but Amazon’s interest in Ireland (as well as the interest of other hyperscale providers, such as Apple, who is building a project in Galway, in the face of multiple appeals).
In response to such delays, Ireland changed the mechanism by which future data centre projects will be processed for approval. Applications will be submitted directly to the state-level governing authority, rather than local planning boards.