Microsoft Azure: Microsoft plans gas plant at Dublin Campus over energy constraint concerns

Dec 12, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Microsoft has announced plans to build an 'unprecedentedly large-scale gas power plant' at its Grange Castle site, an upcoming data center development, due to its concerns about Ireland's energy grid constraints. According to the giant, plans are to build a 170 MW on-site power plant alongside 21 diesel generators to offset the high-energy demand from its new data center facilities, which are located in what is noted as a "constrained area in terms of electrical grid capacity."

The plant would power its Dub 14 and Dub 15 facilities, two developments that are projected to have a combined 56,246 sqm (605,000 sq ft) of floorspace: 28,072 sqm (302,100 sq ft) for DUB14 and 28,173 sqm (303,200 sq ft) for DUB15. Microsoft said the plant is planned to run eight hours a day, 365 days a year.

However, critics of the proposal, such as People Before Profit councilor Madeleine Johansson, say that while it doesn't add to the congestion of the national electricity grid, it's purely a way for the giant to "circumvent the new stricter criteria for data centers in the Dublin Region" and will also contribute to Ireland's carbon emissions. 

According to a spokesperson for the EPA, Microsoft's application is currently under assessment, and no decision has yet been made." The EPA also said that several other license applications are under assessment from sites with large-scale emergency generation capacity.

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