Galway residents raise noise, energy concerns about Apple's Irish datacenter

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Some residents in the area of Apple's planned Irish datacenter have filed objections with the Galway County Council, arguing that the company's Environmental Impact Statement is "inadequate" and doesn't address a range of concerns, a report said on Thursday.




Apple is looking to build a single-story structure measuring 263,770 square feet near the town of Athenry, with smaller logistics, administration, maintenance, and security facilities in surrounding townlands, according to the Irish Times. Apple will also be installing 18 generators and a 7.9-foot tall perimeter fence, and has further promised to plant trees, and build an outdoor classroom for Lisheenkyle National School.

A group of Lisheenkyle residents have complained, however, that Apple has not addressed the potential impact of noise and vibrations caused by generators and increased traffic, which they say could affect both staff and children at the school as well as livestock being raised in the vicinity.

The group's objection was filed with the help of HRA Planning consultants, who added that the datacenter is "remote from existing services and facilities and identified centres of population," and contradicts County Galway's own development plan.

Some separate organizations have reportedly raised their own concerns about the datacenter, such as conservation group An Taisce, which said it's happy Apple intends to rely entirely on renewable energy, but wants the company to incorporate the sourcing of this power from the start of the project, and temper night-time lighting to avoid impacting birds.

The Athenry Revival Group wants Apple to integrate carbon-neutral transportation for workers into its planning application, one suggestion being a footpath and cycling route provided by the Galway County Council, which would parallel the future Western Rail Corridor. The idea of a "greenway" is also supported by some other parties, such as Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins.

Higgins proposed that Apple could be asked to supply some money for the greenway, potentially getting naming rights in exchange.

The datacenter is expected to cost at least ?850 million, the Times said, or almost $969.5 million in U.S. currency. Apple is aiming to have it open by 2017, and the Galway chamber of commerce is estimating it could add roughly 300 jobs to the local economy.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    schlackschlack Posts: 699member
    I read it as "concerns about Apple's Irish DANCEcenter" lol...

    But yea, those datacenters are loud!! /s
  • Reply 2 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    schlack wrote: »
    I read it as "concerns about Apple's Irish DANCEcenter" lol...

    But yea, those datacenters are loud!! /s


    Apple should have thought of that idea as a cover and added a pub at one end, they'd have been welcomed! ;)
  • Reply 3 of 24
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    Apple should have thought of that idea as a cover and added a pub at one end, they'd have been welcomed! image

     

    4 free pints per day per resident and they will all say yes.  Cheaper than the alternatives.... HAHA

  • Reply 4 of 24
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Sounds like details Apple needs to add to the proposal. And they can certainly do so. No biggie. Then the community can accept, reject, or request changes based on accurate info.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Sounds reasonable. People who live out in the countryside would understandably be concerned about a huge datacenter being constructed nearby, which by the way, Lisheenkyle is at least 10 km. away from Athenry Castle pictured in the article. It is not like they are building the datacenter next door to a historical landmark.

  • Reply 6 of 24
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    .
  • Reply 7 of 24
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    My suspicion is that the real reason for objections would be concerns over the possible negative impact on property values adjacent to the data centre.

  • Reply 8 of 24
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member

    It is hard for these concerns to not come across wrong. They are adding 300 jobs to such a small town and yet it appears the hands are still out. It is all pretty minor stuff, so none of it looks like it will stop it as Apple can easily make the required improvements. In the end it will be better for the suggestions. I'm also all for the suggestion of adding a Pub to the project. :) 

  • Reply 9 of 24
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 791member

    Hey, if Ireland doesn't want the jobs, there's a great area in Sacramento right next to the existing Apple facility that would LOVE to have them!

  • Reply 10 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,862member
    I suspect a lot of people here don't realize just how small Ireland is. It is after all an island that you can drive across in part of a day, this makes land use a critical issue. I really doubt they will get buy in for a massive solar panel complex as it wastes land.

    The other thing that caught my eye is the resistance to outdoor lighting, this is something that we don't have in the USA but it does make Ireland a beautiful place to be at night. So I can see strong resistance to excessive outdoor lighting as something that maybe Apple has been caught off guard by. The way we light up the USA is really appalling but yet it is accepted practice.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,170member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

     

    Hey, if Ireland doesn't want the jobs, there's a great area in Sacramento right next to the existing Apple facility that would LOVE to have them!


     

    To bad it's California and they like to drive jobs away!!!  If Apple wasn't raking in so much money they would flee California!!!  Home state, hard to move away from for them, now with another huge UFO building, makes it even harder to just pickup and leave.  

  • Reply 12 of 24
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    To bad it's California and they like to drive jobs away!!!  If Apple wasn't raking in so much money they would flee California!!!  Home state, hard to move away from for them, now with another huge UFO building, makes it even harder to just pickup and leave.  




    Maybe the UFO building makes it easier - as soon as Johnny perfects the anti-gravity engine to lift the whole thing up and relocate it. :D 

  • Reply 13 of 24
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 791member
    Don't you have a freeway somewhere you're itching to go play on?Quote:



    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    To bad it's California and they like to drive jobs away!!!  If Apple wasn't raking in so much money they would flee California!!!  Home state, hard to move away from for them, now with another huge UFO building, makes it even harder to just pickup and leave.  


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

     



    Maybe the UFO building makes it easier - as soon as Johnny perfects the anti-gravity engine to lift the whole thing up and relocate it. :D 


    Don't you two have a freeway somewhere you're itching to go play on?

  • Reply 14 of 24
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,176member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    I suspect a lot of people here don't realize just how small Ireland is. It is after all an island that you can drive across in part of a day, this makes land use a critical issue. I really doubt they will get buy in for a massive solar panel complex as it wastes land.



    The other thing that caught my eye is the resistance to outdoor lighting, this is something that we don't have in the USA but it does make Ireland a beautiful place to be at night. So I can see strong resistance to excessive outdoor lighting as something that maybe Apple has been caught off guard by. The way we light up the USA is really appalling but yet it is accepted practice.

    The one thing many cities across the country are doing is installing low light pollution street lights. Those make a huge difference. My neighborhood has them and the sky is completely dark now compared to the old style lights. 

  • Reply 15 of 24
    ashbymashbym Posts: 2member
    sacto joe wrote: »

    Don't you two have a freeway somewhere you're itching to go play on?
    Freeways are too socialist /s
  • Reply 16 of 24
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,301member
    Data Centers are being strategically deployed on a global 24/7 grid. Putting another center in Cali doesn't cut it.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    This article rather neatly illustrates what a lot of us who live outside the US have been saying about how completely useless Apple Maps is.  Here is what you get when you try and find the location of this new data centre in Apple Maps:

     

    No results found.  You would think that area of Ireland was rather lacking in place names judging by Apple Maps.

     

    Here is the result I get with Here Maps with no data connection - just going by  the offline map data stored on my Nokia:

     

     

    Hopefully Apple might update their map data one day.

  • Reply 18 of 24
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

     

    Hey, if Ireland doesn't want the jobs, there's a great area in Sacramento right next to the existing Apple facility that would LOVE to have them!




    The main reason, apart from political stability, Apple is locating a data centre in Ireland is because it will save them a colossal amount of money on cooling - because they don't need to do any, just open the windows.  The annually average temperature where they are putting that data centre would only be about 9° C.

     

    I doubt very much they will use solar for power as Ireland is around the same latitude as Hudson Bay in Canada, with cloud cover being the norm.  It is, however, a very windy part of the world and there is an existing wind farm relatively nearby, just SW of Loughrea.

     

    The number of full-time jobs the centre will create is not really very many at around 100.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,321member
    Fairly reasonable suggestions and very unlikely to stall the project. They are really just posing some concerns. I don't see anybody objecting in these requests.

    As for darkness Ireland is dark at night but parts of the U.S. must be as dark or darker. Montana, Idaho -- the rural under populated areas.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    I suspect a lot of people here don't realize just how small Ireland is. It is after all an island that you can drive across in part of a day, this makes land use a critical issue. I really doubt they will get buy in for a massive solar panel complex as it wastes land.

    The other thing that caught my eye is the resistance to outdoor lighting, this is something that we don't have in the USA but it does make Ireland a beautiful place to be at night. So I can see strong resistance to excessive outdoor lighting as something that maybe Apple has been caught off guard by. The way we light up the USA is really appalling but yet it is accepted practice.

    Ireland I read is roughly the size of Indiana. Not a massive State to be sure but I'm pretty sure there is room for a few solar arrays and a couple of server farms in Indiana. In fact Indiana had a robust Economic Development Corporation trying to attract exactly such things as does Ireland come to think of it. Scale is a strange thing. The UK is tiny too by your standards but you can ride a train through hours of desolate countryside still.
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