EirGrid, an electric power transmission operator, has said it will not connect any new data centres in Dublin for the foreseeable future due to the Irish capital being “constrained.”
Due to concerns around energy security and the large amount of energy data centres consume, in the past year EirGrid also issued seven amber alerts about energy supply issues.
New connections will be evaluated using assessment criteria outlined by the Comission for Regulation of Utilities and available capacity whilst data centres already planned will continue to go ahead.
Data centres bring substantial capital investment, new export services, and sub supply capabilities
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the IDA said in a joint submission to EirGrid that it remains their view that data centres bring substantial capital investment as well as new export service and sub supply capabilities.
The submission from the organisations said: “The presence of some of the world's leading data centre providers raises our visibility internationally and in turn lead to other equally strategic and complementary employment intensive activities.
"Data centres should be considered as a core enabler of a technology-rich, innovative economy, which, in turn, places Ireland on the global map as a location of choice for a broad range of sectors and activities that are increasingly reliant on digital capabilities including manufacturing, animation, retail, medical devices and financial services,” the submission states. The document was obtained from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request and released to RTE News.
The submission also says that all the large multinationals with data centres in Dublin are committed to becoming 100% renewably powered, adding “Data centres can play a hugely important role in driving new investment in and utilisation of renewable energy in Ireland in their drive to net-zero, and in turn helping Ireland to reach its target of 70% renewable energy by 2030 and net-zero by 2050."