Meta, the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, wants to build Europe’s largest data center in the Dutch municipality of Zeewolde, but that plan is faltering. The city council will vote on it on Thursday. Whether there will be a majority for the server farm is exciting, as the protest against it has reached a boiling point.
De Stentor, Omroep Flevoland, Zeewolde Municipality, Tweakers.net, Central Statistical Office
The Meta data center is set to be located in a future business park in Zeewolde. This is a municipality of over 20,000 inhabitants, an hour’s drive from Amsterdam. The buildings will be built on an area of 166 hectares, or about 250 football fields. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram servers need about 1,380 GWh of electricity. This matches the use of 200,000 households, roughly the population of Ghent.
If the Zeewold Council members vote against it, that’s a slap in the face for Meta. The tech giant has been negotiating with the Boulder municipality since 2019. Originally, Meta’s involvement had to be kept secret until the plans were finalized, According to Omrup Flevoland.
Since the press conference where the plans were revealed, the project has moved from one controversy to the next. like him went out Meta has lobbied very actively with the Dutch government for preferential treatment from the network operator. Facebook’s parent company has threatened to move the server arena to another country if the requirements are not met.
“Dance on the Tube” from “The Big Monopoly”
In addition, the Meta data center has faced protests from farmers and nature lovers. Garden server in the agricultural field. Farmer Jaap Lauders says: Dutch newspaper De Stentor To be surprised, the municipality “dances to the tunes” of the “big monopolists” like the parent company of Instagram. According to the nature organization Natuurmonumenten in the same newspaper, the arrival of Meta mainly causes damage to the area.
The Extinction Rebellion Working Group is also participating in the discussions. They did so last weekend by occupying Zeewold Town Hall. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis, and that means we have to be careful with our energy. The arrival of this data center will have a huge impact on the energy system in the Netherlands. Moreover, Facebook is not a good company,” says company spokesperson Guus Dix from De Stentor. Police officers had to drag some protesters.
The case has now bypassed the municipality of Zeewolde and reached the Dutch parliament. A member of Parliament from the Christian Social Party ChristenUnie – a party that is part of the current and new government headed by Mark Rutte – has officially demanded that the land not yet be sold to Mark Zuckerberg’s company. ChristenUnie’s party in Zeewolde City Council is planning to vote against the data center and has thus won support at the national level. The largest Liveable Zeewolde party is also planning to vote against it.
Mayor Zeewold: “Fake news” in the “Phapeltgesskrant”
All this criticism in the media and society was not liked by Zeulder Mayor Gerrit Jan Gorter. according to him People are deceived by “fake news” in newspapers. He does not dare to name a newspaper, but he talks about the “Phabeltgesskrant”.
On Thursday, nineteen city council members must make a decision on Meta’s arrival. This is easier said than done, as it is one of the most important decisions in their political lives. It also needs to be done in a short time. “We get a few thousand pages of information a couple of weeks ago. We’re always ten steps behind,” one councilor told De Stentor.
Whether the plan will succeed in Thursday City Council remains exciting. If another party withdrew, in addition to ChristenUnie and Leefbaar Zeewolde, there would be no majority. Then Meta can look for another site to build a giant data center.
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