Microsoft plans for two new Irish datacenters put on hold

Kareem Anderson

Fungible datacenter

Updated: • “Microsoft’s datacenter development is continuing in Grangecastle. Plans for future datacenters are evaluated based on a number of factors, including our customer needs, our commitments to environmental sustainability, the local community, and relevant laws and regulations.” – a Microsoft Spokesperson

Ireland’s state-owned electrical utility provider is currently struggling with keeping the lights on with its existing data centers and it’s giving Microsoft and Amazon pause in building new ones in the region.

According to a report from The Times, Microsoft and Amazon were considering investing €2 billion in data center infrastructure in the region but are now reconsidering as Ireland utilities regulators warn of on-going rolling black outs continuing until its current electrical issues are resolved.

Microsoft had planned to open two datacenter sites in the region that would also double as a backup power source for Ireland windfarms, Amazon was set to drop a single AWS site as well in the area but neither company have been granted licenses by Ireland’s EirGrid allowing them to eventually latch onto the electrical grid there.

EirGrid isn’t singling out Amazon or Microsoft with its mortarium but is expanding its initial stance taken last November and reserving its authorizations from any new data centers to all data center applications.

“EirGrid is now applying these criteria to all data center applicants, many of which have decided not to progress their developments,” – EirGrid spokesperson

Ireland’s mortarium has seemingly forced Amazon and Microsoft to explore alternative investment sites in London, Frankfurt and Madrid despite communications between Microsoft and the IDA that assured the Redmond business investor that it would not interfere with its plans originally.

Aside from sources familiar with the data center ordeal, neither Microsoft nor Amazon have formally addressed or formerly provided info regarding the pause, and reconsideration publicly.