Apple has announced a $1.9bn (€1.7bn) plan to build two data centres in Europe – one in Athenry, Ireland, and the other in Viborg, Denmark – each powered by 100% renewable energy.Â
The facilities will power Apple’s online services including the iTunes, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers in Europe.
It’s Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date, the company says.
"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.
Apple now directly employs 18,300 people across 19 European countries and has added over 2,000 jobs in the last 12 months alone. Indirectly, Apple now supports nearly 672,000 European jobs, the company says, including 530,000 jobs directly related to the development of iOS apps.
Like all its data centres, the new facilities will run entirely on renewable energy sources. Apple says it will work with local partners to develop additional renewable energy projects from wind or other sources to provide power in the future.
The two data centres, each measuring 166,000 sq m, are expected to begin operations in 2017.Â
In Athenry Apple will recover land previously used for growing non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest. The project will also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community.
In Viborg Apple will locate the data centre next to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. It will also channel heat from inside the facility to the district heating system.
Photograph: Countryside near Athenry, Galway, where Apple plans a new 166,000 sq m data centre (Kevin Ryan/Wikimedia Commons)