When Susan Shap, 61, traveling from his Dutch hometown Geolde to the town near Leilstad, a 30-minute drive takes him through huge tulip fields, interrupted only by wind turbines and sometimes by sheep. But if Facebook’s parent company Metar plans are approved, its vision will be replaced by the largest data center in the Netherlands.
The Meter data center is “too big for a small town like Geold,” says Scap, who has become one of the project’s most vocal opponents. “The Netherlands already has 200 data centers,” he argues, and the move would give only one company a large share of agricultural land, “which is not fair.”
Like Schaap, other Zeewolde residents are angry that Meta has chosen their city for the first huge data center in the Netherlands. They claim that the company will be allowed to choose a large percentage of the country’s renewable energy supply on power porn, conspiracy theories and meta social platforms.
Their attitude reflects a sweeping shift against Big Tech’s plans in the Netherlands, one of the three main data center centers in Europe, along with the United Kingdom and Germany, turning the issue into a national debate before local elections later this year.
Amsterdam is home to a major Internet exchange that delivers traffic from nearby data centers and has attracted technology giants looking for better connections and fiber to set up giant, “hyperscale” data centers to process their own data in the vicinity.
Microsoft created the first hyperscale in the Netherlands 2015. Since then, two more have been built, and that number is expected to increase, according to the trade group Dutch Data Center Association. But known as the Meter Plan for the Zeewolde site Tractor Field 4, Still the largest. It will cover 166 hectares, equivalent to more than 1,300 Olympic swimming pools, and consume 1,380 gigawatt-hours of energy a year, at least twice as much as the municipality’s 22,000 inhabitants. Swallow In the same period
The fate of Tractor Field 4 sparked protests and persuaded 5,000 people to sign a petition. Schaap has set up an official organization, Sichting DataTruc, to make the voices of locals more important to the council. Different groups have different concerns, but each insists that it does not oppose every data center. “We do not oppose data centers,” said Caroline de Rousseau of the Biodiversity Group Land von Ons. “What we’re up against is using this fantastic, really nice agricultural data center or any industry. It’s a waste of cropland. ” For schaap, size issues. “It’s out of proportion,” he says. “Seventy percent of the people asked [in a recent survey] Against this kind of hyperscale, because it’s so big, it asks us for so much electricity, it asks us for so much water. “
The residents of Geold argue that the data center will take away from the community without much, adding to what they know about the meta social media empire. To counter the plan, at the top of Schaap’s Facebook page is a sketch by cartoonist Ronald Odman, showing five tall buildings on a flat Dutch countryside. Each has a label that reads “Porn, Fake News, Silly Chat, Likes and Comments, and Conspiracy Theories.” “It has nothing to do with medical applications for hospital or banking applications, it’s for no purpose but for fun,” Shap said. “It simply came to our notice then. [Meta] Talks about community programs and social returns. But it’s a big joke, because it’s going to be peanuts more than what we give them. “