AWS could soon be building a data center in Brétigny-sur-Orge, a suburb south of Paris.

Amazon had planned to use the space to create a second logistics center on the site, but according to reporting by La Parisien, AWS is considering building a data center on the unused land.

AWS logo
– Sebastian Moss

A change of plan

A source close to the matter told La Parisien: "From now on, the group [AWS] would consider the construction of a data center of significant size.”

AWS acquired the 1.5 million square foot site in 2017 and opened a distribution center there in October 2018.

In October last year it was revealed that Amazon had canceled the building permit for the second warehouse. At the time, there was no indication that the facility would be replaced by a data center, but a local government official did say: “They own the whole [area], they will not leave it to fallow.”

The site, called Base 217, was previously a French airbase that was seized by the Germans during their occupation of France in WWII.

After being liberated by American soldiers in 1944, and rebuilt after the war, Base 217 served as a NATO site until 2012 when the site was decommissioned from military use.

Eric Braive, president of the Heart of Essonne agglomeration, which owns the larger plot of land that Amazon’s site is part of, said that the data center could produce waste heat for local facilities: "We know that it is done elsewhere. For example, swimming pools could be heated. This would allow us to create a circular economy."