As the competition between cloud computing giants can only get more intense in the coming years, Microsoft can only maintain its rank by building new data centers around the world. And this can definitely come at a cost, especially when the local electricity network can't met the huge power demands of these massive data centers.
According to a report from The Irish Independent, Microsoft is set to build 16 gas-powered generators in the Grange Castle Business Park in Clondalkin, Ireland, which will power one of its data center in the west of the Irish capital. The power station will be able to deliver up to 18 megawatts of electricity, which would be enough to power around 18,000 homes. However, a Microsoft spokesperson told the Irish Independent that the new generators will only be used "if necessary."
EirGrid, the state-owned electric power transmission operator in Ireland, confirmed that the increasing number of data centers in the Grange Castle Business Park is putting a huge pressure on the local electricity network. "Space at Grange Castle Business Park is in high demand from international business customers," an EirGrid spokesman told the Irish Independent. "To accommodate this growth, further power is required to meet both current electricity needs and to plan for future electricity demand."
If Microsoft is making sure that its Clondalkin data centers won't suffer from power outages in the short-term, EirGrid is already planning to upgrade the local electricity network in the near future. Indeed, the state-owned company will spend millions of dollars to build a new substation in the area, to be completed in 2019.