Court clears Apple Irish data centre and gensets plan

November 14, 2017


A court has cleared the way for tech giant Apple to build a data hall in Ireland as the first phase of a planned EUR850 million ($1 billion) project— with provision for up to 144 standby diesel generators.


Ireland’s Commercial Court gave the go-ahead for the first phase of the data centre project in Athenry, Count Galway, rejecting two judicial review challenges, The Irish Times reported.


According to documents submitted to local planning chiefs, Apple initially plans a total of 18 backup generators at the site— with the potential for 144 units and associated diesel storage tanks to serve the eight data halls planned at the 24,500 square metre facility. There would also a 20kv electrical substation.


Each of the standby generators will have a rated output of 2MW and conform to “the latest Tier 4 specification with emission control”.


Campaigners against the proposals had cited concerns over noise and emissions from the site. However, a planning inspection report said that if the initial 18 generators were operated for 12 hours annually, they would generate 108 metric tonnes of CO2— which would be “miniscule relative to the 57.8 million metric tonnes emitted in Ireland each year”.


The report added that there would be “no perceptible effects on air quality at any sensitive receptor outside of the site”.

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