Will Apple’s new Irish data center be beneficial to locals?
Will Apple’s new Irish data center be a benefit to locals of Galway, Ireland? Senior director of global data center services, Robert Sharpe and attorney Rory Mulcahy each made statements at a hearing in Galway County to citizens concerned about the construction’s impact on Derrydonnell forest. The 850 million euro project could take 10 to 15 years to complete and despite the fact that the location of the Derrydonnell forest is ideal for the future European data hub, environmentalists are worried about deforestation, flooding and other issues construction may incur.
The first of a total of eight halls is already underway. However, locals are querying why the area was chosen to for that purpose in the first place? The area is forested with protected wood bitter-vetch plants, native broadleaf trees and a variety of wildlife. The issue is that future building could create flooding, ruin the present state of the biome and extinguish the forest’s water supply. In addition to impending environmental damages, environmentalists are also worried about the effects of construction itself. Noise and dust pollution are the uppermost concerns for locals as well as energy consumption concerns. After the eight halls are complete they will draw a total of 300 Megawatts of power which denotes 8 percent of the total energy usage in Ireland.
Apple states that they are more than willing to meet the concerns of Galway citizens. They plan to pave roads and utilize electric vehicles to reduce tremors and dust and create a five – kilometer walkway with adjoining parking lot for the public during the day. They would also repopulate the forest with the foliage it contained before construction. The only water they will use is city drinking water and harvested rainwater. The completed plant will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy sources and extensive drainage systems will be built to inhibit flooding. The Apple corporation is expert at constructing green facilities and would be just as considerate with the Ireland project in terms of protecting resources as with their existing data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The area is ideal for a data center because it is very close to two powerful, high voltage power transmission in close proximity to renewable energy resources.