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Meta pauses work on Dutch data centre after locals and politicians complain

The Meta logo in front of windmills

Meta is suspending work on a data centre that was due to be built in the Dutch town of Zeewolde after politicians and locals complained about the plan, Reuters said. Those opposed to the construction of the data centre are concerned that it would use up the limited supply of sustainable power produced in the country. Some of the locals also said that their concerns were not listened to during the permitting process.

Commenting on the matter, a Meta spokesperson said:

“Given the current circumstances, we have decided to pause our development efforts in Zeewolde. After having been invited in 2019 by the local, provincial and national government to consider a data center investment in the Netherlands and Zeewolde in particular, Meta envisioned a strong partnership that would bring jobs and community benefits to the region.”

Meta’s decision comes after the Dutch Senate passed a motion asking the Prime Minister to temporarily block the construction of the site. It’s expected that the data centre would use 1.38-gigawatt-hours of electricity and cover 166 hectares of farmland while creating 400 permanent jobs.

The company has said that the pause is temporary and it’s open to coming up with a solution so that the project can commence. It’s unclear whether Meta was planning on generating renewable energy or not but with a building taking up so much space there’s no reason the roof couldn’t be fitted with solar panels to take the load off the country’s sustainable energy resources.

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