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Netherlands

Microsoft continues to build North Holland data centers without permits: NRC

Inside a server farm or data center. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Microsoft’s data center in Wieringemeerpolder in North Holland has been expanded without all the necessary permits, and farmers and locals fear the work will be finished without an official go-ahead. I’m afraid NRC reported on Tuesday.

The software giant had to submit data to the state environmental agency Omgevingsdienst a month ago to prove its nitrogen emissions from construction work are near-zero, but it hasn’t done so yet.

Despite a 2022 ruling by the State Council that Microsoft would only get the permit if it could demonstrate acceptable levels of nitrogen emissions, work continues instead.

The history of the new data center, including its own high voltage substation, checkered patternAs the NRC previously reported, the relevant council, Hollands Kroon, gave Microsoft permission to build the data center. when it’s real Permits for large projects are handled by state authorities.

A year later, in 2021, Microsoft received approval from the state without having to hand over nitrogen data. The State Council’s ruling was then handed down.

Farmers are complaining about what they see as preferential treatment for Microsoft. Henk Geerligs, president of the local chapter of the farmers’ organization LTO, told the newspaper: “While Microsoft has been building buildings without his permission for nearly a year, we are not allowed to put anything extra on our land,” he said.

State officials could, in principle, force Microsoft to dismantle its data centers, but that’s not what LTO is aiming for, Geerligs said. “As farmers, we just want to be treated equally,” he said.

head of matrix

Opposition to the new data center isn’t just focused on nitrogen emissions, Jan Meijles, spokesman for the local campaign group Red de Wieringemeer (Save Wieringemeer), told the paper.

“Many local businesses are waiting to be connected to the grid. But none are building their own rugged substations like Microsoft. It’s strange to be here,” he said.

Local council member Lars Reuter said his party Onahhankeik Hollands Kroon was “very critical” of the current situation. “I find it incomprehensible that state authorities would allow data centers to be built without the necessary permits, especially when housing projects are being canceled because nitrogen emissions cannot be offset,” said Reuters. said.

Microsoft told the paper that it is “in constant communication” with state and local legislatures to ensure that “all necessary laws and regulations are met” at all stages of development, construction and day-to-day operations. ‘

Last year, Facebook’s parent company Meta agreed stop preparing Following a majority of the council opposing the plan, it proposed building a large data center near Zeewolde in Flevoland.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/microsoft-continues-to-build-noord-holland-data-centre-without-a-permit-nrc/ Microsoft continues to build North Holland data centers without permits: NRC

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