New Apple Data Centres In Ireland And Denmark To Power European Market

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Apple data centres will use 100 percent renewable energy and will power iCloud, iMessage and App Store across Europe

Apple is investing €1.7bn (£1.25bn) in two new data centres located in Denmark and Ireland.

The centres are designed to store European users’ data and to power its online services, such as the App Store, iCloud, Siri and iMessage, across the continent.

One of the “state of the art facilities” will be located in Athenry, county Ireland, while the other will be built in Viborg, Denmark. Each will be 166,000m2 size and will open in 2017.

The Cupertino-based firm says the investment is a demonstration of its commitment to the European market, where it employs 18,300 people and claims that 672,000 jobs are supported by the Apple ecosystem – including 530,000 directly related to the App Store.

European investment

Apple Data Centre Ireland “We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “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.”

Apple claims the two new structures will have the lowest environmental impact of any of its data centres and promises there will be significant benefits for the local communities. In Ireland (picture above), Apple will recover land previously used for harvesting non-native trees and will restore native trees to nearby Derrydonnell Forest. An outdoor education space will be constructed for local schools, as will a walking trail.

The Danish data centre (below) will be situated next to one of the country’s largest electrical substations, removing the need for additional electrical substations, while it will also capture excess heat and use it to warm homes in the community.

Environmental commitment

Apple Data Centre Viborg DenmarkApple says it will also work with local partners to develop new types of renewable energy to provide power in the future.

“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” adds Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. “We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources. Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy.”

All of Apple’s data centres use renewable energy following pressure by environmental campaigners Greenpeace to drop the use of coal power.

The company will hope the use of local data centres for the European market will improve the quality of service and reassure companies about where their information is located by allowing them to take advantage of data sovereignty laws.

Earlier this month Apple announced it was going to spend £1.3bn converting a sapphire glass factory in Arizona into a data centre.

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