Apple's plan for $1 billion Irish data center isn't dead yet

Apple’s plan for $1 billion Irish data center isn’t dead yet


A mock up of Apple's proposed data center in Ireland.
Photo: Apple

Apple seems to be reviving plans to build a $1 billion data center in Athenry, Ireland.

It looked like the project was dead after Apple said in 2018 that “delays in the approval process” forced it to make other plans. But the company has now submitted a second application to extend planning permission.

Apple’s original vision for the site, a 490-acre plot of land in County Galway, was a gigantic data center — the biggest in Europe — that would help power services like Apple Music, the App Store, Maps, and more.

Earlier proposals revealed the project would create 300 temporary construction jobs and 50 permanent technical roles. But Apple seemingly abandoned all that in 2018 due to a number of setbacks.

Apple revives plans for Irish data center

“Several years ago we applied to build a data centre at Athenry,” read Apple’s statement at the time. “Despite our best efforts, delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data centre.”

Apple insisted, however, that the move would not affect its “enthusiasm for future projects in Ireland.” Cupertino now appears to have revived plans to make use of the Athenry land it already owns.

“The US company has submitted a fresh application to Galway County Council seeking a five-year extension to the planning permission it was first awarded in 2016 to develop a data centre on the 490 acre site it owns at Derrydonnell,” reports Ireland’s Business Post.

A new target

Apple currently has until September to build the facility, but if the extension is granted, the new deadline would move to 2026. Apple expects construction to be completed by November 2026 at the latest, according to the report, which cites Apple’s planning documents.

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