Microsoft is building a power station for its data center in the Grange Castle Business Park, Clondalkin, as a surge in demand has made local infrastructure insufficient to sustain the facility.

The company will set up 16 gas-powered generators which will provide 18MW to one of its four data centers on site.

The semi-state-owned electricity transmission company, EirGrid, has stated that the power network is struggling to meet requirements at the Grange Castle Business Park.

The grid can’t keep up

Microsoft Dublin data center
Microsoft Dublin data center – Microsoft

This is due to an increased data center footprint in the technology park - including residents like Google and Digital Realty, with EdgeConneX, CyrusOne and Interxion planning facilities on site - that the demand for local electricity has come to outweigh available sources. To make things worse, last year, Microsoft gained planning permission for another four data centers on campus, at a cost of €900m ($1.07bn).

It’s no surprise that data centers use a lot of energy, and as the industry has grown this has created some controversy.

In the most recent edition of DCD Magazine, we attempted to answer the question of how to cope with fast growing demand from the data center industry faced with the rigidity and slow moving nature of power networks; and questioned whether in fact, the sheer scale of this task may be driving utilities forward.