Apple To Build £1bn Data Centre In Iowa

Apple data centre

Apple will build new data centre in Iowa to power its services, and gets a nice little bonus from state authorities

Apple has been handed a huge financial incentive to build a new 400,000 square foot data centre in the US state of Iowa.

Like Apple’s other data centres, the new site in Waukee will be powered entirely from renewable energy when it opens in 2020.

Apple already has data centres in California, Nevada, Oregon and North Carolina, and the new facility will be used to “better serve North American users of iMessage, Siri, the App Store and other Apple services.”

data centre, green energy

Iowa Facilities

Construction of the two new data centres is expected to begin in early 2018, on land the size of 2,000 acres (or 8.09 square km).

The facilities will cost Apple $1.3bn (£1bn) and will create over 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area.

However it is thought that only 50 jobs or so will be permanent, for which Apple will receive a $19.65m investment tax credit.

Apple is also apparently contributing up to $100m to a newly created Public Improvement Fund for community projects and infrastructure (parks, libraries, recreational spaces etc) around Waukee. The first project the fund will support is construction of the Waukee Youth Sports Campus.

But more controversially it has been revealed that Apple has been handed close to a quarter of a billion dollars ($207.8m) in incentives approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Waukee city council in order to build the data centres.

It should be remembered that Apple has at least $260 billion in cash reserves, so it is not exactly cash poor.

“At Apple, we’re always looking at ways to deliver even better experiences for our customers,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.

“Our new data center in Iowa will help serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services – all powered by renewable energy.

“Apple is responsible for 2 million jobs in all 50 states and we’re proud today’s investment will add to the more than 10,000 jobs we already support across Iowa, providing even more economic opportunity for the community.”

Apple also said that it will work local partners to invest in renewable energy projects from wind and other sources to power the data centre.

“We’re honoured Apple is choosing Iowa for the site of its most technologically advanced data centre to date,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. “Apple’s commitment to innovation and renewable energy leadership mirrors our own. This investment in our state is vital as we continue to develop as a technology hub and grow our workforce.”

Iowa also plays host to data centres belonging to Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

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Data Centre Expansion

Apple has been busy expanding its data centre fleet of late. Last month it revealed it would build a second data centre in Denmark to run entirely on renewable energy.That facility will cost Apple $921m (£716m) and will be located in the city of Aabenraa in southern Denmark. It should become operational in the second quarter of 2019.

Apple has also constructed a 166,000m2 size data centre in Ireland, which documents showed had increased the electricity consumption of Ireland by 8.2 percent. And Apple has bowed to Chinese demands when in July it announced it would build a data centre in the Chinese province of Guizhou in order to comply with strict new data protection regulations.

It comes after China in June introduced the Cyber Security Law (CSL) which states that all personal information on Chinese citizens must be stored within the country, as well as preventing the external transmission of economic, scientific and technological data.

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