North will welcome more massive data centres, development agencies say

The interior of a server farm. Photo:
The interior of a server farm. Photo:

Despite unease about the wisdom of attracting massive data centres to the Netherlands, development organisations in the north of the country are still keen to press ahead, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

Both the northern development agency Nom and the Groningen Seaports association say the north can ‘use’ a couple of data centres, despite the opposition of local politicians, the paper said.

Cas König, director of the Groningen Seaports port group, told the paper he is in contact with ‘all’ the big technology groups. Google already has a large data centre in Eemshaven and, he said, he expects more big names to locate here in the years to come.

Plans to build a massive data centre, or hyperscale, in Zeewolde by Facebook parent Meta have run into problems because of concerns about the amount of electricity it will use. The new government has also pledged to make data centres a matter for national planning policy.

Nevertheless, the northern organisations say the situation in the region is ideal for data farms because of the availability of both energy and space. However, there must be sufficient benefit to the local economy in terms of jobs, the lobby groups say.

The Netherlands is currently home to 180 data centres and three hyperscales, the paper said.

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