Meta/Facebook bought the land earlier this year, with a decision announced in mid-October by the municipality of Esbjerg, a port city on Denmark’s west coast. “We are evaluating it for potential development,” a company spokesperson said.
It is unclear to what extent these assessments are affected by the decision-making process about Zeewolde. The spokesperson said Facebook is “at the same time developing a number of sites around the world so that the efforts and results of each site are independent of the others.” However, it seems that the chances of building for one site increase as the chances of building at the other site decrease.
After Zeewold gave the go-ahead for a data center in the far north of the municipality two weeks ago, the Senate blocked it by proposing last week. The opposition wants the new government to draw conclusions from its skepticism about data centers, as stipulated in the coalition agreement. The Senate is asking the next government to suspend the sale of agricultural land, which is currently still owned by the central government’s real estate agency, “until a new ministerial vision for spatial planning and data centers is ready.”
Facebook has already built eighteen of these massive repositories all over the world. Fourteen of them are in the United States. There is actually one in Denmark, near the city of Odense on the island of Funen. This is often given as an example to the inhabitants of Zeewolde; The mayor already had plans for some kind of exchange to learn from the experiences there.
Facebook had already bought the plot of land near Esbjerg in 2018, but sold it to the municipality in March 2019, when it seemed they did not need it. In the same year, Facebook collaborated with Zeewolde. So this year, Facebook retook its steps, to the mayor’s delight. “We are excited that Facebook is back in Esbjerg and re-examining the possibility of a data center,” he said in October.
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