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EirGrid confirms it will not connect more data centres in Dublin until 2028

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EirGrid confirms it will not connect more data centres in Dublin until 2028

EirGrid confirms it will not connect more data centres in Dublin until 2028
January 11
17:24 2022

EirGrid has confirmed that it will not connect new data centres in Dublin until 2028.

They said that the greater Dublin area is “constrained and any new data centre applications will “only be considered for other parts of the country on a case-by-case basis”.

It comes amid concerns about energy security and the large electricity and water consumption of data centres.

EirGrid issued seven amber alerts in a recent 12-month period warning of issues with energy supply.

New connections to the grid will be evaluated using the assessment criteria set out by Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and available capacity.

Data centres already in the pipeline will be progressed.

In a joint submission to EirGrid, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the IDA said it remains their view that data centres bring substantial capital investment and new export service and subsupply capabilities.

“The presence of some of the world’s leading data centre providers raises our visibility internationally and in turn lead to other equally strategic and complementary employment intensive activities,” the submission said.

“Data centres should be considered as a core enabler of a technology-rich, innovative economy, which, in turn, places Ireland on the global map as a location of choice for a broad range of sectors and activities that are increasingly reliant on digital capabilities including manufacturing, animation, retail, medical devices and financial services.”

Speaking to Dublin Live, Clondalkin Councillor Francis Timmons welcomed the news that no data centres will be not accept new applications for data centres to be connected in the Dublin region for a decade.

He said: “I am glad to hear the news, it’s time the genuine concerns of people are listened to and data centres are putting a potentially unsustainable strain on on the nation’s electricity grid so the news of no new applications to 2028 is good.

“This is a moratorium on data centres for a decade. However, there is still a lot of data centres built, planned or in the process and this is bad news for the average person relying on electricity for their day to day needs.”

Cllr Timmons said that there are “still a number of questions” around data centres.

He added: “They use a lot of resources and I would question how climate friendly they are given the resources both land use and energy.”

In October, South Dublin County councillors agreed to write a letter to government begging them to ban data centres over blackout concerns and sustainability.

In the last 20 years Ireland has established itself as The Data Capital of Europe with a large cluster of leading data rich companies serving the continent from Ireland.

These include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, Airbnb, with many investing in substantial data centre infrastructure around the country.

According to the IDA, there are a range of factors which attract data centres to Ireland, including availability of land at a reasonable cost, strong experience and project management expertise in building data centres and other large industrial projects and competitive construction costs.

South Dublin County Council hosts a significant number of data centres within the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

As of November 2020, 61 out of the 66 data centres nationwide were in the Greater Dublin area, with almost 50% of those within South Dublin.

Source: Dublin Live

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