Business Insider reports Apple’s planned $928 million dollar data center to be located in County Galway in Ireland has reportedly been put on hold, due to local residents’ environmental concerns. The Irish data center, as well as one in Denmark, was expected to go online in 2017.
Apple had originally hoped to start building the data center on a 500-acre site by the end of 2015, but a new decision from the Irish government now won’t come until this summer. The government is reviewing a variety of appeals made by various parties after the go-ahead was already given last September.
Apples plans for the data center, to be built in the town of Athenry, located in the middle of the Derrydonnell Forest, includes plans to restore native trees to the area following construction, as well as plans for an educational center for schools and a walking trail.
Some local residents don’t believe the project is worth what they believe would be increased light and noise pollution, flooding, and traffic. The group also argues the project would bring harm to local populations of badgers and bats.
The complaints against the project submitted to An Bord Pleanála, an independent body which will make the final decision on the project. The committee is expected to issue a report later this month. However, a final decision could be handed down as late as this summer.
Apple is reportedly optimistic that it will still be able to bring the data center online by 2017, but any further delays would surely push back the completion date. The Cupertino firm is expected to use the center for its cloud-based services, including iMessage, Maps, iTunes, the App Store, and Siri.
Earlier today, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said he believes Apple is considering backing away from its current reliance on Amazon’s Web Services, in favor of its own in-house data centers. The data center in Ireland, as well as the Denmark-based center, would likely be a big part of any such move.