Locals are protesting against the construction of a Google data center in Bnei Zion, Israel.
Residents from Moshav Bnei Zion have reportedly petitioned the Lod District Court to revoke the Hof Hasharon Regional Council's approval for a data center in the moshav (a type of Israeli town or settlement). Residents have cited health and environmental concerns over the project.
The Bnei Zion site is in the Sharon locality to the north of Tel Aviv on a 13 dunams (3.2 acre) plot. Construction began in July and is due for operation in late 2022.
Israeli publication People and Computers reported in July that ServerFarm was building three data centers for a large cloud provider in Israel, with one of them being located in Bnei Zion.
The Calcalist has since reported Google was behind that facility, while the other two facilities are located in the Haifa and Tirat Carmel area near the Science Industries Park (MTM) to the north of the country, and near the submarine cable landing point in Eilat on the Israel-Jordan border to the south.
Both Globes and the Calcalist report that locals are concerned about the noise generated by the data center's cooling equipment as well as the non-ionizing radiation from the electrical, cellular, and RF radio operations at the site. Residents also said the planning process was flawed with little information shared before work began.
The Hof HaSharon Regional Council claims that the final permit has not yet been granted and that the permit is only for the foundations of the building.
ServerFarm is building the facility in partnership with the Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF), and has an agreement with a company called Orachat, which will lease the data center to Google.
In April, Google and AWS jointly won the $1.2 billion Nimbus Project tender to provide cloud services to the Israeli Government. Both companies quickly officially announced they were bringing cloud regions to the country.
AWS is known to be working with Compass for the construction of its data centers. Haaretz suggests AWS is building one 10,000 sq m (107,000 sq ft) facility in the Tnuvot industrial zone to the north of Tel-Aviv and working with German company Exyte. The other two facilities are reportedly being developed at Hartuv industrial zone near Beit Shemesh outside Jerusalem, and in the Shoham industrial zone near Ben Gurion Airport between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
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