If taken forward, the data centre is expected to be an investment in the region of £50 million by the company which acquired Kilroot and Ballylumford power stations from AES.
TechRE, an experienced data centre consultancy, has been appointed to lead a ‘strategic location review’ which will consider the local market and the suitability of the site and wider area for the development.
Individuals and businesses, the company points out, are producing larger amounts of data than ever before and more centres are required to help store, distribute and process data from technology being introduced in the home, in the workplace and across all sectors of society.
Alongside the conversion from coal to lower carbon gas generation at Kilroot, a purpose-built modern data centre would represent further significant investment by EPUKI in Northern Ireland as well as supporting innovation and the digital economy throughout Mid and East Antrim Borough.
Ian Luney, EPUKI commercial director, said: “I am delighted to confirm that EPUKI have appointed TechRE to advise us as we look to progress the exciting development of a data centre within the proposed Kilroot Energy Park. Since acquiring the Kilroot Power Station in 2019, EPUKI has been actively considering how we can invest to secure the long-term future of the site and this represents another important step in that process.
“Overall, the Energy Park has the potential for up to £600m of investment in a range of technologies and electricity generation solutions, including the transition from coal to lower carbon gas powered generation.”
“The development of a data centre at Kilroot will support jobs, drive innovation and further contribute towards the rates base in the borough, helping to deliver local services. It is well known that data centres need to be close to sources of electricity generation, so the Kilroot site is perfectly suited for this use. We will keep in touch with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council throughout the feasibility process and look forward to discussing the findings in due course.”
As well as powering up to 500,000 homes, the energy park has the potential to create over 200 jobs during construction and more than 150 full-time operational posts.
Commenting on this latest announcement, the Mayor, Councillor Peter Johnston, said: “This is excellent news for Mid and East Antrim, and I commend EPUKI for their vision and commitment to investment in the long-term future of Kilroot Energy Park.
“Our council will continue to work closely with EPUKI to support the continued expansion of increased innovation, greener energy and the digital economy, which bodes well for an exciting and prosperous future for our borough.”
Click here to read: Mid and East Antrim’s future as key energy supplier secured following auction
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