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Blackout threat: No power for new data centers in Ireland

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A number of companies are suspending plans to build new data centers in Ireland due to an uncertain electricity supply situation. A network operator refused the necessary approvals for new network connections for fear of power failures. That reports the Time.

The halt in the construction of new data centers, therefore, has consequences for Microsoft, Amazon, Digital Realty, Dataplex, and Equinix, among others. These companies have all received mail from network operator EirGrid refusing to connect new data centers in and around Dublin, the report said.

Although construction permits were already in place for new factories, work then had to be suspended. Last year, Microsoft received approval for two new facilities, DUB14 and DUB15, at Dublin’s Grange Castle Business Park. Amazon recently received planning permission from Dublin City Council for projects in Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park.

EirGrid has informed Amazon that their construction project is not an option for a connection. The Times reports that some cloud companies are evaluating alternative locations for the Irish capital after EirGrid stopped approving new grid connections due to energy shortages. It is currently unclear whether this applies to all construction projects for new data centers.

Stop set by 2028

Microsoft is reportedly considering alternative locations in London, Frankfurt, and Madrid, while Amazon has decided to build its data center near London. According to the Times, there appears to have been a de facto moratorium in Dublin since the turn of the year after EirGrid announced that the capital’s grid was congested and that no new applications for data center grid connections could be submitted before 2028.

Projects in limbo

Applications for which a connection had already been approved before the ban came into effect and which are estimated to have more than 1 GW of power will continue to be built and connected. However, dozens of projects that were still in the planning phase were not connected to the grid and are now being canceled or left in limbo.

Mark Goodman

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