Plan for battery storage site beside data centre hub in south Dublin

Amazon and other data centres are located close to the proposed battery site

John Mulligan

A plan for what would be one of the country’s largest battery storage projects, costing tens of millions of euro, have been submitted for a site in south Dublin that is beside a major data centre hub.

The 183MW project is being spearheaded by Data and Power Hub Services, an associate company of Niall Molloy’s Dublin-based data centre group Echelon. It has developed a number of data centres in Ireland and the UK.

Data and Power Hub Services originally planned to build a 100MW gas-fired power station on the site off Peabody Road in Newcastle. However, that project was later shelved. It had been due to come on stream this year.

It has now submitted plans for a major battery storage facility on the site, which is currently the Newcastle Golf Centre. The land on which the battery storage plant will be constructed is owned by Martin McNulty, according to Land Registry records.

The project will consist of the demolition of all the golf-related buildings and the construction of a new battery energy system storage and power trunk building.

The two-storey power trunk building will extend over almost 2,000 sqm. The battery storage element will operate within a three-storey building extending over almost 18,600 sqm and contain 63 battery containers, power invertors, transformers and switchgear. The company also wants to install nearly 1,400 photovoltaic panels on the roof. A number of additional facilities will also be built on the site.

The land is less than 1km from the Grange Castle Business Park. That park is home to major data centre operations owned by tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well as other companies including Digital Realty Trust.

The power usage by data centres in Ireland has been the focus of intense scrutiny, especially in the latter half of last year as there were warnings about potential blackouts due to the strain on Ireland’s power network.

Amazon is currently planning to build three more data centres in the capital, with its Amazon Web Services unit having already invested more than €4bn in Ireland.

Electricity consumption by data centres in Ireland soared 32pc between 2020 and 2021, according to the Central Statistics Office. A single data centre can use as much power as a large town.

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