Mayo county councillors have agreed to the sale of two plots of lands in the Killala area for the potential development of the first data centre in the west.
Proposals to develop the Mayo Green Data Hub at the Killala Business Park is very exciting, according to local councillor Jarlath Munnelly
The proposal, from US based company AVAIO Digital Partners, was subject to a sale of land by Mayo County Council, which came before the elected members of the council at today’s monthly meeting of the authority.
The proposal includes the construction of a 20Mw datacentre facility at this site, which was formally home to the Asahi synthetic fibre plant. The total investment from the company will be €150 million for the initial phase, and up to €400 million for the full completion of the project.
Cllr Munnelly says it’s a huge opportunity for Mayo, the potential of this site in Killala has been discussed for years, and he says, as a local representative he frequently highlighted the potential that it has. “This development could be the start of a new direction Information Technology related enterprises in this area.”
Councillor Munnelly said that there has been very good engagement with this company and Mayo County Council to date, but he stressed the need for this project to work with the local community in order to be successful. “I have met with the promotors, along with my colleagues in the Ballina area, and we all stressed the need for them to work positively with the local community – something they are happy to do. I know that people living near to this site, and indeed the local community generally will have questions about this project – and rightly so. But if there is good engagement with everyone ahead of any planning applications being submitted, that will greatly help.”
He also stressed the importance of the project contributing to the locality, not only in terms of job creation and enterprise opportunities, but in terms of supporting local organisations. “In Killala there is a very successful Community Trust Fund that financially supports local organisations. This trust came into being following the construction of the Killala Community Windfarm. I explained this to the promotors of the project, and of my desire that they too would contribute into the trust, to benefit the wider community.
There are a lot of regulatory steps to be crossed prior to the project going to construction. This project will use a lot of energy, one of the new requirements from government is that any new data centres will also provide their own back-up power source. So this is being factored in. The promotors have applied for a grid connection, and a gas connection, and the plan is to submit a planning application later this year. It’s an enormous project, that also brings enormous opportunities for Mayo.”