nanomanpro - Fotolia

Facebook to start building second European datacentre in Ireland

Facebook to construct second datacentre facility in Ireland after overcoming resident opposition in planning application appeal

Facebook is about to begin building its second European datacentre in Ireland despite opposition from local residents.

The company has pledged to power the €200m facility in Clonee, County Meath, using 100% renewable energy sources, and claims the installation will be one of the most “efficient and sustainable” datacentres in the world.

The datacentre will be used, Facebook confirmed, to provide European users with access to the social networking site, its Messenger service and its photo-sharing platform Instagram.

“All the racks, servers and other components have been designed and built from scratch as part of the Open Compute Project, an industry-wide coalition of companies dedicated to created energy and cost-efficient infrastructure solutions and sharing them as open source,” Facebook vice president of infrastructure Tom Furlong wrote in a blog post on 24 January.  

“This will help us reach our goal of powering 50% of our infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018.”

The social networking giant was initially granted planning permission for the build in July 2015. Local residents made an unsuccessful bid to appeal the decision in October.

Read more about Irish datacentre projects

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, construction will be completed in two phases over the next decade and the facility is expected to create 150 permanent new jobs in the area.

Planning permission for the second phase of the build has already been granted, a representative from Meath County Council confirmed. The first phase is expected to cover 31,000 square metres.

Economic benefits

In a statement to Computer Weekly, the council’s chairman Brian Fitzgerald, stressed the economic benefits of the project.  

“Having an international company like Facebook in our county sends out the message that Meath is an attractive place to invest in and to do business,” he said.

“This is a very important project for Ireland and for the county, and very good news for the community in Clonee.”

Ireland is fast emerging as a popular location for new datacentre builds, particularly among the US tech giants. Microsoft and Apple are among those looking to open new sites there, thanks in no small part to the country’s temperate climate and congenial tax regime

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)