EdgeConneX Ireland has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against South Dublin County Council's rejection of its data center proposal.

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– EdgeConneX

The company was seeking to develop two adjoining data centers on its Dublin Campus on Newcastle Road in the town of Ballmakaily in Lucan, Dublin. The data centers were proposed as two single-story facilities covering a total floor space of 15,000 sqm (161,500 sq ft) along with 24 backup diesel generators.

The Dublin campus spans 22 hectares and has space for up to five more data centers at the site, according to EdgeConneX.

The basis for the rejection, according to South Dublin County Council, was that there was insufficient capacity in the grid and that EdgeConneX did not have a fixed connection agreement in place. Additional concerns surrounded the lack of on-site renewable energy and power purchase agreements in the country.

In the appeal, EdgeConneX argues that the council is taking an "unduly rigid approach" to its development plan and had misinterpreted the proposal. EdgeConneX states that it, in fact, has an existing connection agreement with EirGrid and denied that there were any capacity issues. The company also argued that it would power the data center via a gas-powered generation plant in the short to medium term before connecting to the country's electricity grid.

The company further argues that the data centers have been designed so that they can be transitioned to renewable energy when it becomes available, and that its gas-powered energy plant will "benefit the stability of the grid." The ruling for the appeal is currently set for December 2023.

Last year, the company received approval for two new buildings at the same Dublin Campus along with three gas-powered generation plants and 32 standby generators.

Ireland's state-owned electric power transmission operator EirGrid imposed a defacto moratorium on new data centers in Dublin until 2028 in January 2022, stating that it will not accept new data center connection applications. Some data centers have managed to get around this by turning to Dublin's gas network for electricity. In April 2023, it was confirmed that 11 data centers would be connected to Gas Networks Ireland.

Vantage Data Centers is also in the process of appealing a data center rejection, filing in July with a decision due in October 2023.