Apple’s €850m data centre in Ireland faces planning hearing

26 Apr 2016

Pictured: Athenry Castle. Objections from power usage to the local bat population have been raised against Apple's giant green data centre in Athenry, Galway

Apple’s proposed €850m data centre for Athenry in Galway, which will be run on renewable energy, has to run the gauntlet of an An Bord Pleanála oral hearing after objections were raised, including concerns around the conservation of bats.

Apple announced it was building the new data centre in February last year as part of a €1.7bn investment that will see a similar data centre built in Denmark.

It is understood that Apple will directly fund at least six Irish renewable energy projects amounting to a potential additional investment of €400m to power the data centre.

The planned data centre in Galway will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri, for customers across Europe.

The 24,500m2 Athenry data centre will be the company’s largest data centre project in Europe, providing 300 jobs during its multiple phases.

Apple, which powers most of its facilities through renewable energy, plans to make the Irish data centre its greenest yet and said it will run 100pc on renewable energy.

It is understood that the data centre, which will come online in 2017, will have a 6MW requirement and this will grow to 30MW when it is fully operational.

This could grow to 240MW in 10 to 15 years’ time.


However, objections to the data centre, ranging from concerns around traffic congestion and the amount of electricity that will be consumed to the local bat population, have been raised and will now need to be addressed via an oral hearing with Ireland’s planning body An Bord Pleanála.


It is proposed that the new data centre will be built on 240 acres of IDA land and, as well as a €1m fund for ocean energy testing in Galway, Apple has promised to plant native trees in the woodland area and construct a new walking trail.

Athenry Castle image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years