Concerns about the effect Apple’s massive Irish data center will have on badger and bat populations may have momentarily suspended the company’s plans, but Apple representatives have assured locals the $950 million project will be largely invisible.
Robert Sharpe, Apple’s senior director of global data center services appeared at a hearing in Galway County this week to address concerns about the 500 acre data center and revealed why it’s so important to Apple’s expansion plans in Europe.
“The site presents us with an ideal opportunity to develop a very large, sustainable data centre, which meets our projected needs over the next 10 to 15 years.,” Sharpe told attendees in his opening statement. “The woodland will enable us to make the site largely invisible beyond the site and we are able to improve the overall biodiversity of the site by increasing the proportion of native broadleaf trees.”
Apple plans to build a total of eight data halls that will house thousands of servers over the 15 year period. The total energy demand could make Apple Ireland’s biggest energy consumer.
While some locals have objected to the data center project on environmental grounds, Apple says that the site is ideal for a data center.
“It is a large site, currently used for commercial forestry,” noted Sharpe. “It sits extremely close to two major high voltage power transmission lines in an area rich in renewable energy resources.”
Apple is currently applying to break ground on just one of the eight data halls. Each time it wants to build a new one it will have to reapply.
You can read Apple’s full letter below: