Microsoft forced to build its own power station

September 26, 2017 | 11:28
Microsoft forced to build its own power station. Image: datacenterdynamics
Microsoft forced to build its own power station. Image: datacenterdynamics
The Grange Castle Business Park in Clondalkin, Ireland is home to data centres operated by Microsoft, and internet giant Google and other companies. The concentration of data centres there, and their relatively rapid deployment, has placed enormous strain on the local electricity network. Enough strain for the the local Electricity Supply Board to say that one large data centre can consume as much electricity as a large regional town such as Drogheda and that the growth in electricity demand because of new and planned data centres is "unprecedented".

Microsoft has four operational data centres in Grange Castle. Last year, it secured planning permission to build four more on the site that will probably cost in the region of €900m to build. EirGrid, Ireland’s  semi-state electricity network control company confirmed that the infrastructure in and around the Grange Castle Business Park is now “struggling to meet the data centre power demand”. Which is another way of saying that they cannot guarantee sufficient power to meet surge demands.

Microsoft intends to install 16 gas-powered generators at a site in Clondalkin, in the west of the capital Dublin. The power generation compound is designed to provide up to 18 megawatts of electricity to just one (1) of its huge data centres at the site. Such electricity output would be enough to power the equivalent of about 18,000 homes.

Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook have invested billions of euros in data centres in Ireland over the past number of years. But last year, the boss of Microsoft Ireland, Cathriona Hallahan, raised concerns with the Government regarding the security of energy supply in Ireland to facilitate the continued deployment of such facilities in the country.

Source: Irish Independent

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