Local decision-makers in Bissen are set to hold a much-anticipated vote on a data centre planned by internet giant Google in the commune.
The municipal council will vote on the so-called “plan d’aménagement particulier” (PAP) for the site, known as Busbierg. The development plan outlines the number and layout of the data centre’s buildings, subject to the commune’s building regulations.
The Bissen council previously approved changes to the commune’s general development plan (PAG), which were needed to reclassify the land for construction. But mayor Jos Schummer (CSV) has since resigned and the council’s majority powers shifted after members of the CSV defected in the wake of the PAG decision.
The June vote only passed because five councillors of the Är Leit (Your People) group abstained. The group now holds five seats on the council, compared to the CSV’s four. Two members are independent.
The PAP vote will be crucial for the Google data centre to enter its next phase. The project has faced criticism from local citizens’ groups and environmental activists alike over worries about its electricity needs and its use of water for cooling.
The amount of resources needed to operate the data centre is not known and the government has kept secret a memorandum of understanding signed with Google for the Grand Duchy to host the facility. Bissen is already home to a 4,800m2 data centre operated by LuxConnect.
Google would be investing €1.2bn into the site, with the data centre expected to employ around 100 staff. It can still pull out of the deal though in which case the government would buy the land with a view to developing other industry.
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