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New funding will enable build-out on Echelon’s four Irish sites

Pioneer Point Partners, is pleased to announce its portfolio Company Echelon Data Centres Limited, has secured a debt finance agreement with affiliates of Starwood Capital Group with an initial value of €855m. The funding will facilitate the construction and completion of data centre facilities on Echelon’s four Irish sites – DUB 10 and DUB40 (Dublin – Clondalkin and Grange Castle) and DUB20 and DUB30 (Co Wicklow – Arklow).

Launched in 2019, Echelon now has six sites across Ireland and the UK with a total potential capacity of up to 500MW. Its sites in Ireland will have a combined capacity of around 400MW and will create more than 2,000 jobs in construction and full-time operational roles. In the UK, Echelon’s LCY10 site in London’s Docklands is ready for occupation and LCY20, a 30MW facility located 20 miles from central London, is also the subject of a funding agreement with affiliates of Starwood Capital Group.

Echelon’s philosophy is that all data centre infrastructure should be powered by 100% renewable energy, however, the company recognises that – in the short to medium term – halfway house solutions (such as on-site gas-fired peaking plants) may be necessary to support over-burdened grid infrastructure and to assist the transition to a wholly renewably-supplied grid system. Echelon’s DUB20 (Arklow) site will host a partnership with SSE Renewables, which will bring 520MW of offshore wind power into the grid and will also be home to a biogas plant.

Lorcain Egan, Head of European and Asian Lending for Starwood Capital Group, said: “Following on our joint venture data centre developments with Echelon in the United Kingdom, we are delighted to continue our support for the team with this landmark financing in Ireland.“

David Smith, Senior Vice President at Starwood Capital, commented, “This financing demonstrates our continued conviction in the data centre sector and Starwood’s long-term commitment to the Irish market”.

Announcing the finance agreement, Niall Molloy, CEO of Echelon Data Centres, said it signalled the next phase of the Echelon project in Ireland – enabling the delivery of much-needed, large-scale data centre infrastructure to meet the challenge and opportunity presented by the global need for data and data management.

“Data centres are essential infrastructure – now, post-pandemic, more than ever. If we are to continue to benefit from low-cost, reliable and time-saving tech such as Zoom and Teams, if we’re to enjoy the speed of 5G, if we are to stream on-demand and if we are to look forward to the future of AI and the IoT, then increasing data centre capacity is a given.

“Echelon Data Centres is committed to providing that capacity sustainably – taking into account its responsibilities to people, the community, the economy and to the environment – particularly in the area of power. We understand that powering a data centre with 100% renewable energy cannot happen overnight. However, our focus is on ways of achieving the goal and then mitigating impacts as we progress towards it.

Echelon is delighted to expand our very successful relationship with Starwood Capital in delivering these latest large scale data centre campuses.”