Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton, the IDA, and a wind farm business group have all hailed the announcement by retail giant Amazon that it will tap power from wind turbines in Co Cork.
Amazon said that after a Donegal plan announced earlier this year, it was its second project in the Republic to help feed the growing demand for energy from its data centre facility and bases here, which employ 2,500 people.
The Cork plan involves Amazon contracting to take the 23.2MW power generated by a wind farm owned by Invis Energy, under construction at Esk, and which is expected to supply electricity from September 2020.
“Amazon does not own these projects, but our commitment to purchasing the power and environmental attributes from these projects enable them to be built,” said a spokesman.
Big tech users of electricity regularly contract power from renewable sources around the world. And in the same announcement, Amazon also said it is tapping another wind farm in the US state of Virginia.
Big tech companies have been criticised for their data centres consuming huge amounts of energy. Apple abandoned a plan to build a data centre in Athenry, Co Galway, after planning delays.
Government agencies stressed Amazon’s Irish projects don’t involve public subsidies.
“Under the Climate Action Plan, we are committing that 70% of Ireland’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. Industry leadership is key to helping us reach this target,” Amazon quoted Mr Bruton as saying in its statement.
IDA executive director Mary Buckley said the Cork plan is “very welcome”, and business group, the Irish Wind Energy Association, said it is “fantastic news”.