Review body requests more info before approving Apple's Irish data center

Posted:
in iCloud
A planning organization backed by the Irish government -- An Bord Plean?la -- is reportedly asking Apple to provide more information about a number of issues before it approves the construction of a data center near the small town of Athenry.




A letter sent by an An Bord Plean?la executive to Arup Consulting Engineers, the firm managing the datacenter project, requested information in five specific areas, according to Business Insider. One of these is the choice of location.

"The proposed development is located in an unserviced rural area on lands outside of any settlement and which are not the subject of any specific development objective. It is considered that the applicant has not adequately addressed the issue of site location and the alternatives considered prior to selecting the proposed site," one section of the letter reads.

Apple and Arup have also allegedly provided no specifc data on renewable energy projects, and are being asked to revise an Environmental Impact Statement to address a power substation, all eight possible data halls instead of just the first, and the potential absence of "viable direct sustainable energy sources."

The letter also mentions previously-known concerns about wildlife, asking for the results of earlier ecological surveys and news on surveys to come. Lastly, Apple and Arup expected to submit data on soil, bedrock, and the local water table.

Although local government officials greenlit the data center in September, environmental activists appealed, putting the project on pause. An Bord Plean?la was brought in for an independent review, and was originally expected to make a decision this month but might not do so until May.

Apple and Arup have until March 7 to provide the additional information. Apple may be especially interested in accelerating the process, as the company has no native data centers in Europe, although an upcoming sister complex in Denmark could potentially serve as a stopgap.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Is it really worth the trouble to do business in Ireland? How many zillions will they pay in back taxes as a result of their current operations in the country?
  • Reply 2 of 18
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    I think the question is, is it worth it to Apple, to keep building infrastructure and investing in Europe?

    It seems like the answer is, no. Europe doesn't want Apple.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 18
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    512ke said:
    I think the question is, is it worth it to Apple, to keep building infrastructure and investing in Europe?

    It seems like the answer is, no. Europe doesn't want Apple.
    Apple makes 18% of it's revenue from Europe.  How do you conclude that 'Europe doesn't want Apple'?

    I can assure you that the wretched An Bord Pleanála is as much a thorn in the side of anyone who want's to do anything in this country.  They even scuppered plans for a national children's hospital a few years ago.  They are a bunch of Luddites that the Irish government doesn't seem to have the balls to question or overhaul.

    That said, I would be interested to know why they want to plonk such a facility in basically the middle of farm land where there is literaly nothing nearby except a motorway, some cows, sheep and the odd farmhouse.  I'm sure there is a good reason, just wondering what it is.
    edited February 2016 ksec
  • Reply 4 of 18
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Really confusing.
    Those "five specific areas" of questions are so 'basic', I don't understand how the project could even have gotten to preliminary consideration without that stuff being addressed.
    I mean, Ireland 'ain't China...
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 5 of 18
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    cnocbui said:
    512ke said:
    I think the question is, is it worth it to Apple, to keep building infrastructure and investing in Europe?

    It seems like the answer is, no. Europe doesn't want Apple.
    Apple makes 18% of it's revenue from Europe.  How do you conclude that 'Europe doesn't want Apple'?

    I can assure you that the wretched An Bord Pleanála is as much a thorn in the side of anyone who want's to do anything in this country.  They even scuppered plans for a national children's hospital a few years ago.  They are a bunch of Luddites that the Irish government doesn't seem to have the balls to question or overhaul.

    That said, I would be interested to know why they want to plonk such a facility in basically the middle of farm land where there is literaly nothing nearby except a motorway, some cows, sheep and the odd farmhouse.  I'm sure there is a good reason, just wondering what it is.
    A marginal cow pasture makes for an inexpensive construction area purchase? And as data centers, once built, are not very labor intensive there's no need for a lot of local employee resources. IIRC the data center locales in the states are all in the undeveloped "boonies". But they tend to be sprawling and so requite a lot of land, so if that land can be cheap... why not? Possibly even mores if the "green" aspect means it's going to largely rely on onsite power generation....

    "How big is Apple’s new iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina? It’s plenty big, as illustrated by this aerial video posted to YouTube (apparently taken by an area realtor) of the 500,000 square foot facility. " 

    That center is built on 255 acres. Also the climate, cool, is noted to be inherently suitable for a data center as much of the cooling of the facility can be accomplished simply by pumping in the outside air, a significant cost savings since these centers need to be temperature controlled and being huge that's a power issue.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 6 of 18
    ...
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 7 of 18
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    bobschlob said:
    Really confusing.
    Those "five specific areas" of questions are so 'basic', I don't understand how the project could even have gotten to preliminary consideration without that stuff being addressed.
    I mean, Ireland 'ain't China...
    You are right.

    Having thought about it some more, I think I know what may be afoot.  It might have been suggested to the contractor that they submit a sketchy proposal, even though a full and thorough one had been prepared.  That way, ABP get to play the hero and save Ireland by 'rejecting' the 'unsuitable' plan, making suggestions that they know have been covered in the real proposal, then once the real one is submitted they can approve it and claim the credit.

    There is no way the Irish employees of Apple down in Cork and the consultants wouldn't know ahead of time what was needed.  Furthermore, in this country you absolutely do not buy a large tract of land in the 'hope' you will get approval for something.  You get that sorted before you buy it.  The land thing is a bit curious because 200+ acres is multiple average farms worth and I have never seen any mention of Apple purchasing the land.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 18
    jony0jony0 Posts: 270member
    Apple and Arup have until March 7 to provide the additional information. Apple may be especially interested in accelerating the process, as the company has no native data centers in Europe, although an upcoming sister complex in Denmark could potentially serve as a stopgap.
    Well then, Apple has until March 7 to approach the Danish government for an expansion double the size of the upcoming complex. Done.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    williamh said:
    Is it really worth the trouble to do business in Ireland? How many zillions will they pay in back taxes as a result of their current operations in the country?
    So a country, state, or city can never ask any questions to the almighty Apple ? Why ? Becuse there Apple ? Every place anyone builds has to go thru some kind of Q&A time. But you think Apple is somehow above all this ? Let's see if Apple thinks the same as you. lol

    There are reasons a company wants to build where they want. Ireland must not care if they build or not. Lots of people don't get down on there hands and knees to bow to Apple like you do.

    Where I live the city turns down a lot of big names from opening here. It has not hurt this area at all.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    yuck9 said:
    williamh said:
    Is it really worth the trouble to do business in Ireland? How many zillions will they pay in back taxes as a result of their current operations in the country?
    So a country, state, or city can never ask any questions to the almighty Apple ? Why ? Becuse there Apple ? Every place anyone builds has to go thru some kind of Q&A time. But you think Apple is somehow above all this ? Let's see if Apple thinks the same as you. lol

    There are reasons a company wants to build where they want. Ireland must not care if they build or not. Lots of people don't get down on there hands and knees to bow to Apple like you do.

    Where I live the city turns down a lot of big names from opening here. It has not hurt this area at all.
    Well, your city can afford it, because you save money by only using one word for there, their, and they're.
    ManyMacsAgorealjustinlong
  • Reply 11 of 18
    quinney said:
    yuck9 said:
    So a country, state, or city can never ask any questions to the almighty Apple ? Why ? Becuse there Apple ? Every place anyone builds has to go thru some kind of Q&A time. But you think Apple is somehow above all this ? Let's see if Apple thinks the same as you. lol

    There are reasons a company wants to build where they want. Ireland must not care if they build or not. Lots of people don't get down on there hands and knees to bow to Apple like you do.

    Where I live the city turns down a lot of big names from opening here. It has not hurt this area at all.
    Well, your city can afford it, because you save money by only using one word for there, their, and they're.

    You should go work for Apple. You can be the one to get your hands and knees. BFD on Spelling. Take on the real question. Why places should suck Apple like you must do. :) 
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,719member
    cnocbui said:

    I can assure you that the wretched An Bord Pleanála is as much a thorn in the side of anyone who want's to do anything in this country.  They even scuppered plans for a national children's hospital a few years ago.  They are a bunch of Luddites that the Irish government doesn't seem to have the balls to question or overhaul.


    Blimey

    http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=20407

    edited February 2016
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,719member
    williamh said:
    Is it really worth the trouble to do business in Ireland? How many zillions will they pay in back taxes as a result of their current operations in the country?

    I think it would be unfair to penalise Ireland since they have stuck their neck out for Apple over the away tax thing. 

    Besides, the benefits of setting up shop in Ireland do go beyond the tax breaks: Apple has access to a well educated and relatively cheap work force. 
  • Reply 14 of 18
    ksecksec Posts: 1,566member
    Well If they closed the tax loop hole, would there be any more incentive for Apple to continue investing in Ireland?
  • Reply 15 of 18
    ksec said:
    Well If they closed the tax loop hole, would there be any more incentive for Apple to continue investing in Ireland?
    Yes. As they have one of the lowest corporation tax rates in Europe plus access to a highly educated potential workforce.
    cnocbui
  • Reply 16 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    cnocbui said:
    512ke said:
    I think the question is, is it worth it to Apple, to keep building infrastructure and investing in Europe?

    It seems like the answer is, no. Europe doesn't want Apple.
    Apple makes 18% of it's revenue from Europe.  How do you conclude that 'Europe doesn't want Apple'?

    I can assure you that the wretched An Bord Pleanála is as much a thorn in the side of anyone who want's to do anything in this country.  They even scuppered plans for a national children's hospital a few years ago.  They are a bunch of Luddites that the Irish government doesn't seem to have the balls to question or overhaul.

    That said, I would be interested to know why they want to plonk such a facility in basically the middle of farm land where there is literaly nothing nearby except a motorway, some cows, sheep and the odd farmhouse.  I'm sure there is a good reason, just wondering what it is.
    Maybe because there is nothing nearby except a motorway, some cows, sheep and the odd farmhouse?  ;)
  • Reply 17 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member

    ksec said:
    Well If they closed the tax loop hole, would there be any more incentive for Apple to continue investing in Ireland?
    Yes. As they have one of the lowest corporation tax rates in Europe plus access to a highly educated potential workforce.
    But aren't Shamus, Paddy and Murphy already working for Apple? ;)
    singularity
  • Reply 18 of 18
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    ksec said:
    Well If they closed the tax loop hole, would there be any more incentive for Apple to continue investing in Ireland?
    Free cooling of the data centre.
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