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20/11/2020

Green energy giant and data centre firm plan joint infrastructure

Words: Roger Milne
Turbine / iStock: 512004136

Green energy developer SSE Renewables and Irish-owned data centre owner / operator Echelon Data Centres have announced an agreement to develop key infrastructure that will facilitate Ireland’s first large-scale offshore wind farm and, separately, a major new data centre.

Under this proposal the two companies will locate a 220kV substation at the Avoca River Business Park, at Arklow.

The infrastructure will be used by SSE’s Arklow Bank wind farm off the coast of County Wicklow with an export capacity of 520 megawatt and Echelon’s proposed new 100 MW data centre.

The joint initiative marks the first time in Ireland that an offshore wind farm and a data centre have agreed to develop grid infrastructure. The substation development is expected to require an investment of around €50 million. Upon completion, the proposed offshore wind farm and data centre will both directly connect to the Irish national grid via the new shared substation.

The deal is seen as an innovative step forward for the renewable energy and data centre sectors, according to SSE Renewables. "Sharing grid infrastructure and locating data centres closer to renewable sources of generation such as offshore wind delivers on a key decarbonisation goal set out in Ireland’s Climate Action Plan which calls for  regionally-located data centres to minimise grid reinforcements."

Image credit | iStock

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