Apple has announced a £1.2bn plan to build two data centres in Europe running entirely on renewable energy to accommodate online services for its customers.
The new facilities will be located in County Galway, Ireland and Denmark’s central Jutland and will provide online services including iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for Apple customers. This is the technology giant'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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
The project in Ireland will involve recovering land and restoring native trees to Derrydonnell Forest in Athenry, as well as providing an outdoor education space for local schools and a walking trail for the community.
“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives.
In Viborg, the data centre will be located next to one of Denmark's largest electrical substations, avoiding the need for additional generators. In addition, excess heat from equipment inside the facility will be captured and transferred into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighbourhood.
“We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources,” said Jackson.
Apart from running 100 per cent on clean, renewable energy sources, the construction of the two data centres, each measuring 166,000 square metres, is expected to contribute to the creation of jobs during its multiple phases of construction.
Apple now directly employs 18,300 people across 19 European countries and has added over 2,000 jobs in the last 12 months alone. The company said it spent it spent more than £5.7bn last year alone with European companies and suppliers to develop products and support operations around the world.
The two data centres are planned to be up and running by 2017 and will have the lowest environmental impact yet for an Apple facility, the tech giant said.