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Controversy is brewing in Ireland as one development company challenges the prohibition of data center construction in the Dublin area. At the same time, Amazon was authorized to build two new sites near the city amidst rising concerns about data center energy consumption.

Back in June, the South Dublin County Council altered its planning guidelines to explicitly forbid any additional data centers from being constructed within its boundaries. According to a report by The Irish Times, the vote is now being contested in Ireland’s High Court by Echelon Data Centres, an international data center development company.

Lifting the ban

It’s thought that the ministry of state administration has instructed the council to lift its prohibition on new data center construction in the region, which was reportedly implemented without the consent of the country’s planning watchdog. The decision to reverse the ban will be subject to a two-week public consultation.

Additionally, Amazon claims to have received planning clearance for a second pair of AWS datacenters at a location in North Dublin. Colliers Properties, operating on behalf of Amazon, submitted the application which was accepted in July. Visitors to the Clonshaugh Business and Technology Park will find that AWS already occupies several data center buildings.

The CRU warns about Ireland’s power grid

According to the construction application, the path going forward involves the demolition of a former Ricoh building and the development of two data center buildings (A and B). Each building will be more than two stories tall, with a respective floor area of approximately 12,875 square meters and 1,455 square meters, as well as support structures to house security personnel, tools, emergency generators and diesel storage tanks.

Ireland had great success in enticing organizations to set up data centers in the country, but not without a cost. The country’s Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) warned last year that data centers were taking a toll on the Irish power grid, noting the country could face blackouts unless steps were taken to control the precarious situation.

Tip: Microsoft’s data centers will provide energy to power grids