Apple will spend $1.93 billion in Europe on its greenest data centers yet


Apple's “big-ass” data center in North Carolina. Photo: Engadget
Apple's “big-ass” data center in North Carolina. Photo: Engadget

Apple plans to open two new data centers in Europe, its biggest European project to date. Located in Ireland and Denmark, the twin data centers will power the company’s online services including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for local customers.

As with Apple’s eco-friendly U.S. data centers, these new facilities will run on 100 percent clean, renewable energy. According to the company, they will boast the lowest environment impact of any Apple data center yet. Each will measure 166,000 square meters and will cost Apple around $1.93 billion in total. It is expected they will begin operation in 2017.

To ensure that the new buildings are met with positive reactions, Apple is working with local communities on a range of initiatives. For example, in Athenry, Ireland, Apple will be reclaiming land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees, and restoring native trees to it. It will also provide an outdoor learning space for local schools, along with a walking trail for the community.

In Viborg, Denmark, meanwhile, Apple will capture excess heat from equipment inside its new facility and conduct this into the district heating system as a way of helping to warm homes in the neighboring community.

Given the problems Apple has previously faced in Europe, related to in-app purchases and negative press surrounding tax-avoidance schemes, helping out the local community is something that will no doubt win the company plaudits — while also fitting into Tim Cook’s mantra for making Apple a “force for good” in the world.

“We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” Cook said in a press release. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date. We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet.”


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