Coming in well ahead of its deadline, Ireland’s An Bord Pleanála (Planning Board) has approved plans to build the first stage of an Apple data center in County Galway, valued at €850 million. The first stage of the data centre will include support buildings and one of eight eventual data halls.
Apple will have to apply for further permission every time it wants to add another hall, and the facility may take as much as 10 to 15 years to reach full size. In approving the first stage, An Bord Pleanála suggested that despite concerns over things like traffic and environmental damage, the data center will help the area’s economy, employing over 200 people in its construction. A smaller number of IT workers and associated staff will actually run the complex.
The board also acknowledged that it can be difficult to find sites for large-scale data centers that simultaneously need connection to the national power grid. Apple intends to fully power the facility using renewable energy sources.
Apple will have to comply with some additional conditions, including limiting noise and the number of parking spaces, and running external cables underground. The company has been targeting a 2017 launch date, but may have to postpone that given the delays caused by the appeal process.