The province of North Holland has granted Microsoft an environmental permit for the construction of a second data center in Middenmeer. Previously, the municipality of Hollands Kroon had issued this permit, but it later turned out that the province should have issued this permit.
The construction and use of the data center will have no negative consequences for the nearby Natura 2000 areas, writes the North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency. Commissioned by the province, this Environmental Service investigated whether Microsoft could obtain a permit for the second data center. The granting of the permit took longer because extra research had to be done into the nitrogen emissions.
The municipality of Hollands Kroon already issued the environmental permit for the construction of the data center in January 2021, but it later turned out that the province should have issued this permit. In September that year, the North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency already gave permission for construction ‘at your own risk’, pending the final permit that was issued on Wednesday. Microsoft has recently built the data center without a final permit.
Objections can still be lodged against the final permit issued by the Environment Agency. The Red de Wieringermeer Foundation, which is against more data centers in the region, indicates to the Noordhollands Dagblad to do this. The foundation claims that the data provided by Microsoft on emissions from emergency diesel generators are six times too low. The data center covers an area of approximately 22 hectares.