IDA's plan for Ireland to become a global data farm

The hunt is on for suitable sites around the country....

IDA's plan for Ireland to become a global data farm

Picture by: Sven Hoppe/DPA/PA Images

The IDA is on the hunt for suitable locations for the next batch of large-scale data centres that come Ireland's way.

It has long been argued that our cool Atlantic climate, perfect for housing tech with a tendency to overheat, could see Ireland putting the "cloud" in cloud computing and become one of the world's pre-eminent data farms.

Dublin is already home to one of Europe's largest data centre clusters, hosting the likes of Google and Microsoft.

Despite legal delays affecting the proposed €850m Apple centre in Athenry and Amazon's €1bn plan for Mulhuddart in north Dublin, the IDA is clearly confident tech giants will continue to flock to Irish shores.

The State agency has appointed Jacobs Engineering to identify further strategic sites around the country.

Jacobs' winning bid of €53,775 saw it fend off competition from nine other firms for the contract (which had initially been valued at around €200,000). It will now be assessing locations in the South East, South West, Midwest, Midlands, West and North West. 

According to the Irish Independent, identifying the IDA sites will be carried out in three phases, with a national review, refinement of options and then detailed comparative analysis and recommendation.

The sites will need to be in close proximity to high voltage electricity network and HV substations; proximity to dark fibre networks and proximity to national motorway network, and associated key access routes.

The evaluation will take into account zoning potential, whether adjacent land uses are compatible, the ownership profile, road access, the availability of other key utilities, access to renewable energy resources and the extent of any environmental constraints.