Microsoft plans for new data centre in Grange Castle Business Park

by Padraig Conlon
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US TECH giant Microsoft is trying to acquire another 20 acres of land to build a data centre and 120-person office development in Clondalkin.

The land is in Grange Castle Business Park, next to its existing data centre campus, as the tech company looks to keep up with ongoing demands in the data and cloud computing sector.

Microsoft has been in discussions about buying the land with South Dublin County Council, which approved the sale of the land subject to several conditions last December.

Some of those conditions include a fee of €600,000 per acre, which is to be paid to the council and would bring in over €12m in fees.

Other conditions include the payment of 10% of the purchase price upon signing an agreement for the site, to be refunded if the development fails to receive planning permission.

They also include a subsequent planning application, to include an office building to support a staff of 120 people, in addition to the proposed data centre provision.

Upon the conditions being met, the lease shall be for a term of 999 years, subject to a rent of €500 a year, which will be reviewed every five years.

At a meeting held in July 2007, the council first noted the disposal of 18.9 acres at Grange Castle Business Park to Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Operating in Ireland since 1985, Microsoft employs over 2,200 people in this country

Grange Castle, which is owned by SDCC, was selected as the location of the company’s first data centre built outside the US, with the initial development phase opening in July 2009.

It has expanded on several occasions since opening due to the continued demand for Microsoft’s cloud services across the European region which makes Ireland an important cloud hub for Microsoft.

Through their expanded data centres, the Microsoft Cloud helps drive the digital transformation of businesses to enable growth for local economies.

The advantages of locating the data centre in Ireland include proximity to cloud services customers, geological stability, extensive fibre optic networks, reliable and affordable energy rates and a moderate cool climate that enables free air cooling of the facility.

Grange Castle was the first location Microsoft employed outside air and direct evaporative cooling systems at scale, a practice that has since become common across most of its global data centre fleet.

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