As we get closer to the end of another year, data centre investment and construction announcements continue at a steady pace over Q3 2019. Ireland is on course to secure a €4.5 billion investment from data centre construction by 2025 despite Brexit, which has had significant knock-on effects for the rest of the construction sector. According to the most recent Ulster Bank Construction PMI Report construction activity had its steepest monthly decline since June 2013.
Data centres provide a necessary part of our modern digital existence economically and socially.
This was recently highlighted by Mark Foley, CEO of Eirgrid, at their 2020-2025 strategy launch: "Data centres are a manifestation of that transformation... the reality of the situation is they are responding to the needs of business... to the needs of society. Our job is to make sure we have the capacity to connect them, and that the generation capacity is there to supply”*.
When you look at the future possibilities of how we might conduct business meetings, it is clear that data centres are the core infrastructure of the new digital economy. Specifically here in Ireland, we see data centres as a key component of Ireland’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposition, which underwrites more than 100,000 jobs in the ICT sector. This sector produces €69.3bn in exports making it the largest export sector in the economy.
We are also seeing tremendous progress in the industry and its commitment to renewable energy. EirGrid’s commitment to supply 70% of the grid (a further 10,000 MW), through renewable sources and investment of €2 billion, is welcomed by the industry and viewed as achievable. The sector has also directly funded renewable energy projects here in Ireland. The most significant to date has been Amazon’s decision to invest almost €200m in the construction of a windfarm off Donegal without subsidies. This is the first of its kind in Ireland.
Other highlights this quarter include:
The announcement of the K2 data centre construction which has been approved for construction in Ballycoolin. This project will consist of two, three-storey data centre facilities, spanning around 29,000 square metres each.
Growth in the Grange Castle cluster, with CyrusOne data centre group beginning construction of their €400M development.
EdgeConneX have also lodged a planning application to double the size of their campus in the same location.
We look forward to the developments in the industry in 2020 as data centres positively impact Ireland’s commercial construction and energy sectors. In the meantime, please feel free to download the latest Host in Ireland Quarterly Report here to learn more about the sector.
Founder & President Host In Ireland