The super-sized €1.2 billion Ennis data centre has faced significant criticism from campaigners Futureproof Clare, Extinction Rebellion Clare and the Clare Environmental Network, who have united against the plans.
The criticism against the project argues that the rapid growth of data centres in Ireland has led to new gas-fired power stations being built to meet the increased energy demand, increasing the number of carbon emissions from burning fossil gas and placing an excessive strain on the grid.
“The rapid growth in data centres could overwhelm Ireland’s electricity grid and it risks rolling blackouts,” Aisling Wheeler of Extinction Rebellion Clare, said. “Clare County Council is not requiring Ennis Data Centre to generate any renewable energy. If they cannot provide new renewable energy to power their data centres, they should be refused permission.”
Art Data Centres, the body that was responsible for Environmental Impact Assessment Report that was given to Clare County Council regarding the project, argued that any environmental impact will be short term, taking place during the construction phase.