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Project Art - $1.4bn west Ireland data centre project could generate over 2,000 jobs

If approved, construction will be phased over a six-year period commencing in late 2022.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

5 Mins

July 16, 2021 | 11:30 AM BST

Project Art - $1.4bn west Ireland data centre project could generate over 2,000 jobs

Artistic impression of the future campus proposed by Tom McNamara & Partners. Source: Tom McNamara & Partners

Ireland’s hyperscale data centre developments continue to gain pace as a new €1.2 billion (US$1.42 billion) data centre campus is put forward for approval in Ennis, Co. Clare, 245 Km west of Dublin.

Located between Galway and Limerick, the Art Data Centre Campus is seeking a 10-year planning permission and has been proposed by Tom McNamara & Partners.

Projected to be built on 145 acres/1.3 million sq ft, the site is expected to create 250 data centre jobs, 1,200 construction jobs and 600 induced jobs in support services.

Clare County Council said the project is a key pillar of the Ennis 2040 Economic Plan for the area.

Developers explained the site will comprise a vertical farm and six data halls designed on a flexible and modular basis and has access to 203 MW of power from both the network grid – 83 MW by EirGrid – and gas generation on-site (120 MW).

The campus has been designed by data centre specialists Colin Hyde of ARC:MC, and Robert Thorogood of HDRInc.

Project Art – Introduction Video. Source: Art Data Centre Campus

Tom McNamara, of the development managers Tom McNamara & Partners, said: “Development of this data centre campus has been specifically identified as a transformational site by Clare County Council in its draft Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Plan and is in accordance with the Government’s role for data centres in Ireland’s Enterprise Strategy.”

He added that with Eirgrid 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 the Art Data Centre Campus can avail of underused grid capacity in other regions and tap into the growing number of renewable energy developments in the west and south of the country that offer clean sources of power.

He continued: “Additionally, more dispersed data centre developments like this help diversify economic growth and job creation to regions outside of Dublin. Over many years, Ennis, as the largest town in Munster, has been striving to lay the foundations for inward investment and has been successfully building connectivity as part of becoming an ‘Information Age Town’ and because of its access to power, fibre and location close to Shannon International Airport, it is a natural home for this project.”

Also commenting, director of economic development, Liam Conneally of Clare County Council, previously stated at the time of the Development Plan Variation, said: “The Clare County Development Plan 2017–2023 and the draft Ennis 2040 Strategy set out the economic framework to foster prosperity and investment in the region.

“The plan outlines a vision that strengthens Ennis’s role as a key economic driver in the mid-west through expansion and diversification of its economy. Part of this are transformational sites that act as catalysts for economic growth, including this planned Ennis data centre, which can deliver competitive advantages to the town and surrounding region.”

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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