Apple cleared to build $1B green energy data center in Ireland

Apple cleared to build $1B green energy data center in Ireland

Apple cleared to build $1B green energy data center in Ireland

Apple has also announced plans to build a second data centre there, leading to fears it could shelve its Irish project.

Tech giant Apple can now proceed with its €850m data centre in Athenry as the Commercial Court in Dublin has backed An Bord Pleanála's original decision to grant planning permission.

Apple in February 2015 announced plans to build the data centre in a rural location in the west of Ireland to take advantage of rich green energy sources nearby.

Seán Kyne, Ireland's minister for community development, natural resources, and digital development, said it was "very positive news for Galway and the West of Ireland".

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When the project was announced, Apple said it meant to spend €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) on a data centre in Ireland and another in Denmark, with each one costing €850 million (£762 million).

Independent TD for Galway East Sean Canney and several members of Apple for Athenry, a group of local people who support the development, were in court for the judgments. However, by November a year ago, three objectors - local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh - received permission to seek a full judicial review of the Apple decision by An Bord Pleanála.

For example, the project is expected to create 420 construction jobs in the town, which local business owners claim will result in secondary economic benefits for local shops and infrastructure providers.

Apple wants to use the data centre to store European user data and to help power online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri for customers across Europe.

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The Danish centre will be up and running by the end of the year. An Apple facility in Denmark announced at the same time is near completion, while the construction of the Athenry site has not yet begun.

Following oral hearings the planning authority confirmed the permission in August of past year.

Computer Weekly understands Daly and Fitzpatrick have until 2pm on Monday 16 October to lodge an appeal against the Commercial Court's ruling in the case. That board in turn approved the project, but further objections were made to the High Court in Ireland. Around the same time, thousands of people in Athenry marched in favour of the data centre.

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