€1.2bn data centre planned for Ennis in Ireland

16 July 2021 | Antony Savvas

Cover

A planning application has been submitted for a €1.2 billion Ireland data centre campus in Ennis, County Clare, which promises to create 1,200 construction jobs and 250 data centre jobs.

The Art Data Centres campus was originally proposed in 2019 with an estimated value of €400 million, so the planning application clearly reflects a larger project.

The Ennis data centre campus (picture render above) has now been identified by Clare County Council as a key pillar of the Ennis 2040 Economic Plan for the area. It will include a vertical farm and six data halls designed on a flexible and modular basis, covering 1.3 million sq ft.

Construction will be phased over a six-year period commencing in late 2022. It has been designed by data centre specialists Colin Hyde of ARC:MC and Robert Thorogood of HDRInc.

It will have access to 200MW of power from both the network grid and gas generation on-site. The proposed site was zoned in 2019 for “Data Centres & Power Generating Infrastructure”.

Tom McNamara of development manager Tom McNamara & Partners, said: “With Eirgrid [the state-owned electric power transmission operator in Ireland] increasingly focused on data centres locating away from Dublin and the east coast, to reduce pressure on existing grid infrastructure in those areas, projects like this can benefit from underused grid capacity in other regions.”

As the site is close to Shannon International Airport, it will also benefit from existing fibre and power links.

The Ennis Eirgrid Network Sub Station is adjacent to the new Art Data Centres Campus, which will provide a “very high level of power supply-side diversity” and “therefore resilience”, said the developers, with grid power being supplemented by a gas generator-based energy centre to generate additional power.