Report: Microsoft and Amazon Halt Plans to Build New Irish Data Centers Amid Power Shortages

Datacenter networking servers

Microsoft and Amazon have reportedly halted their plans to build new data center projects in Dublin. According to a report from The Times, the companies are exploring alternative locations because the state-owned electricity grid operator EirGrid imposed a ban on new connections due to power constraints.

Last year, Microsoft received permission to open two new data centers in the Grange Castle Business Park in Dublin. Previous reports revealed that the company initially planned to complete this project in 2023. Meanwhile, Amazon planned to build a site in the region, but EirGrid has yet to grant licenses to connect to Ireland’s grid station.

A spokesperson from EirGrid told The Times that it no longer provides licenses for new grid connections in the Dublin area. This decision was made following Ireland’s Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) issued directives in November 2021. “EirGrid is now applying these criteria to all data center applicants, many of which have decided not to progress their developments,” the spokesperson said.

Microsoft and Amazon plan to open new data center facilities in London

Consequently, Amazon has decided to open its data center near London instead. Microsoft has also started exploring alternative locations in London, Madrid, and Frankfurt. The report states that EirGrid is not expected to grant new grid connections until 2028, and it had to postpone a data center project in Dublin due to a lack of grid connections.

Microsoft and Amazon have yet to confirm or deny the news about halting new data centers in Dublin. This may be true at a time when Europe is dealing with power shortages due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Notably, data centers consume a significant amount of electricity, and EirGrid warned last year that Dublin could face power outages due to excessive demand in the region.