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An Bord Pleanála Grants Planning for €500m, 100MW Echelon Data Centre

An Bord Pleanála Grants Planning for €500m, 100MW Echelon Data Centre

Echelon Data Centres, the Irish data centre owner and developer, has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a 100MW, 484,000 sqft data centre facility to be sited on the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Planning permission was originally granted by Wicklow County Council in February 2019 but was the

Echelon Data Centres, the Irish data centre owner and developer, has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a 100MW, 484,000 sqft data centre facility to be sited on the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Planning permission was originally granted by Wicklow County Council in February 2019 but was the subject of an appeal which has now been dismissed.

The €500m development, which will create 540 jobs (450 in construction and 90 full-time operational roles) has widespread support in the locality as it is expected to be a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the site, attracting employers and investors to the area. Echelon is committed to finding 100% green and renewable solutions – wind, solar, bio-mass – to provide sustainable power options to all of its data centres.

Graeme McWilliams, COO, Echelon Data Centres, welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála and said that it sent a clear message of intent. “Clearly, the decision removes a significant uncertainty for us and clears the path to deliver a facility that will enhance Ireland’s developing data centre offer, meeting the growing demand from global organisations in eCommerce, telecommunications, digital broadcasting, AI and the internet of things.

Power supply has been secured and the Arklow facility will deliver 100MW of capacity to the market. This is sizeable in its own right, however, when combined with the site we have in development in Clondalkin – and further sites we have identified – we will be in a position to offer hyperscale tenants a potential 300MW of capacity in an Irish availability zone.

“Today’s ruling shows that Ireland is open for data centre business and that the necessary decisions can be taken within a framework that allows developers a level of certainty. As the dataverse – the amount of data that is created each year – is set to triple in size by 2025, demand for facilities such as ours will increase rapidly and Ireland is well-placed to accommodate them.”

Pat Casey, TD for Wicklow and Deputy Spokesperson on Urban Renewal and Housing, commented “This is fantastic news for not only Arklow but also the entire South Wicklow region. The development of the iconic IFI site at Avoca River Park as one of Ireland’s largest data centres is the beginning of a new high-tech era for South Wicklow.

“The people of Arklow and South Wicklow are 100% behind this project, as demonstrated by the thousands of signatures and online petitions that were gathered in support of the development.

“I have been delighted to have worked with Echelon on this project since day one and will continue my efforts to ensure that this game-changer for the economic development of South Wicklow is delivered as quickly as possible. I’d like to thank the Echelon team for their efforts and their commitment to Arklow.”

Echelon Data Centres first tranche of capacity – at the Clondalkin site – will come on stream in Q2 2021, and the company still expects to have availability for occupation at the Arklow site by Q3 2021.



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