Apple representatives spent time fielding questions from Galway, Ireland residents on Tuesday, over the locals concerns over the energy consumption of a planned data center there. The new center has the potential to become the country’s largest consumer of electricity.
When Apple announced intent to open a pair of European data centers last year, it said the 850 million euro (about $950 million) Irish facility would be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. While those plans still hold, Apple attorney Rory Mulcahy at yesterday’s meeting revealed the company is not proposing on-site generators, but will instead connect to the national grid, the Irish Independent reports.
Last June, an Environmental Impact Statement from Apple indicated the new 263,770-square-foot facility would be powered partially by 18 on-site generators. Mulcahy told the gathering that the facility’s power will come from a local renewable energy provider.
Galway residents have expressed concern over the facility’s possible environmental impact. Oisin Collins, a representative for a residents group, said the facility would draw 300 Megawatts of power if and when the expansion is completed in 15 years. That amounts to eight percent of Ireland’s total national capacity. Maulcahy responded by saying Apple’s current timeline does not require an increase in Ireland’s power generation capabilities.
The Galway county council has ruled Apple will need to reapply for permits prior to construction of each of its eight planned server buildings. The first is currently under construction. The council has expressed concerns about the project’s possible affect on the environment, protected species, and more.