A number of appeals have been filed with Ireland’s planning regulator against new Amazon data centers in Dublin.
Fingal Council granted AWS (via Universal Developers LLC) permission for three data centers, to be located at AWS’ existing site at Cruiserath Road in Dublin, in September 2023.
Appeals have now been lodged by Friends of the Earth, the Fingal One Future Group, Dr Colin Doyle, John Conway and Louth Environmental Group, and Mannix Coyne.
MacEvilly has told the appeals board that the proposed development will impose significant pressures on electricity sector decarbonization, "and it is at best unclear how the operation of the proposed development over its lifetime will be compatible with the increasingly stringent carbon budgets.”
Fingal One Future Group’s Zimmermann told the appeals board that the granting of planning permission for the data centers represents a triple threat in the context of the Irish energy system.
"The three threats relate to energy security, the security of our power system and to our pollution limits,” she said.
The company first filed to build the facilities – known as Data Centres E, F, and G – back in January.
Amazon aims to construct three data center buildings on a 65-acre site with a gross floor area of 1,425 sqm (15,350 sq ft) for building E and 20,580 sqm (221,520 sq ft) each for buildings F and G, all over two levels.
Building E will see one new generator installed, while Buildings F and G will see 19 installed. AWS said it aims to install beehives on the site to boost sustainability efforts, and solar panels are planned for the roofs of F and G. Heat recovery systems will warm the office buildings. The company will also look to procure ‘renewable diesel’ for backup fuel.
At the time of filing, the company said work would be due to start later this year, with Buildings F and G expected to come online in 2025 and 2026.
It seems the company had already secured a grid connection with EirGrid for the buildings in 2019, meaning the facilities avoid the capacity crunch afflicting other new developments in the city. According to documents in the filing, the new buildings will have a combined power load of 73MW.
The company was previously granted permission for two more two-story buildings totaling 21,705 sqm (233,630 sq ft) each in 2019, by which time the designs had seemingly merged four of the planned buildings into two. Those two buildings are currently under development. Buildings A, B, and C are data centers, and Building D is the on-site substation.
One further building, estimated to be another 20,580 sqm development, is expected in the future according to the latest filings. At full build-out, the campus will provide around 220MW of capacity.
Amazon also operates other Dublin campuses in the Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park, in Fingal County’s Blanchardstown, and one further south in Tallaght. The company has reportedly paused some projects in Dublin due to the moratorium on new grid connections and at others is looking to rely on other power sources.