Last year it was announced that Apple was planning a major new data center for County Galway in Ireland, as well as one in Denmark, both set to begin operations in 2017. According to a new report from Business Insider, however, Apple’s plans for the Irish data center have hit a speed bump. The report claims that the company’s $928 million dollar center has been put on hold due to complaints from the community.
Apple had originally hoped to start building the data center on a 500-acre site by the end of 2015, but a new decision from the Irish government now won’t come until this summer. The government is reviewing a variety of appeals made by various parties after the go-ahead was already given last September.
Apple plans to build the data center in a small town called Athenry, in the middle of the Derrydonnell Forest. The company has promised to restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest after the process is complete, as well as to build an education place for local schools and a walking trail. The center will be powered by renewable energy.
Supporters of Apple’s Irish data center say that it would create around 300 jobs for the community, but naysayers don’t think that is worth the other trade offs. Some of the appeals filed to the Irish government say that the data center would increase noise and light pollution, flooding, and traffic. Citizens are also arguing that it would harm populations of local badgers and bats.
The report adds that Apple is still optimistic it will be able to open its Irish data center by 2017, but these delays seem to suggest otherwise at this point. The company is expected to use the center for cloud services such as Siri, iMessage, Maps, iTunes, and the App Store.
The complaints were made with An Bord Pleanála, which is an independent party in Ireland that will make the decision. The committee, made up of “10-12 experts” is expected to issue another report in mid-February. It could be as late as summer when the final decision is made, however.
Earlier this year it was reported that Apple is looking to expand its data infrastructure in the United States, as well. The company is said to be building another data center in Reno, Nevada, adjacent to the existing one that is still under construction.
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