Amazon gets green light for three new Dublin data centres

20 Sep 2023

Image: © Production Perig/

Fingal County Council has said Amazon can build three planned data centres on Cruiserath Road, Dublin 15, even as environmental groups oppose the move.

Amazon has secured planning permission to build three new data centres in Dublin despite concerns around the consumption of electricity and potential emissions.

Fingal County Council, which has jurisdiction over the Dublin 15 region where the data centres are to be located, granted planning permission to Amazon Web Services (AWS) firm Universal Developers earlier this week.

AWS first submitted plans for three new data centres on Cruiserath Road in December last year, near other data centre sites that have been previously approved.

The proposed site will consist of one smaller building with a gross floor area of 1,425 sq m, while the other two will be much larger with a floor area of 20,582 sq m each.

With a primary parapet height of nearly 20 metres, the two larger buildings will contain data halls, electrical and mechanical plant rooms, a loading bay, storage space, office administration areas and solar panels on the roof.

An environmental impact assessment has claimed AWS has directly invested €4.4bn in Ireland between 2011 and 2020.

The council granted Amazon permission despite opposition from organisations concerned about the pressure on the national grid and potential environmental footprint of the three data centres, such as Friends of the Earth, Not Here Not Anywhere and Gluaiseacht.

According to Central Statistics Office figures, data centres consumed 18pc of Ireland’s electricity in 2022, as much metered electricity as all urban dweelings.

This growth is only expected to continue. In 2021, EirGrid predicted that data centres could account for a quarter of Ireland’s electricity usage by 2030 as the country attracts more data centre developments. Around the same time, a leading academic predicted that if all proposed data centres are connected, they could use as much as 70pc of Ireland’s electricity grid capacity by 2030.

Despite energy concerns, the Government stated last year that new data centre developments will not be banned as data is an “essential enabler” of our increasingly digital economy. However, it revised its data centre policy to put tighter restrictions in place for new ones.

Amazon was requested by the Fingal council to submit information that demonstrates how the proposed development would “make efficient use of the electricity grid, using available capacity and alleviating constraints” as per the revised policy.

Now, the council has granted a seven-year planning permission after concluding that “the proposed development of three data centres would be consistent with European and Government policy”.

The council continued that the development “would not, in itself or taken cumulatively with other developments, have detrimental direct or indirect impact” on the environment.

“The proposed development represents a significant investment that will create additional direct, indirect and induced economic and employment benefits, in addition to those that have already been generated by AWS,” a spokesperson for the company told

“As such, it is fully consistent with the Government’s preference, as set out in the Government statement on the role of data centres, for data centres to be associated with strong economic activity and employment.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic