Arup has won a contract to design and engineer Apple’s $950m data centre in County Galway, Ireland.
We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now– Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives
According to the planning application that Apple filed in April, the centre will occupy a 500-acre site near the town of Athenry. The main building will be a single-storey server farm with a floor area of 24,500 square metres.
The Irish data centre is one of two that Apple is planning to build in Europe – the other is to be located in Viborg, Denmark. The data centres are designed to store European users’ data and to power Apple’s online services, such as its App Store, iCloud, Siri and iMessage services.
Arup has designed low-energy data centres in Frankfurt, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Spain.
The issue is particularly important for Apple because its application to build the centre has encountered opposition from local groups, and the firm is offering a variety of environment enhancements to win them over.Â
As well as promising to use renewable energy at the site, the Californian technology giant is funding a "greenway" made up of footpaths and cycle lanes, wind turbines and an open air "eco classroom".
Apple said it will work with local partners to develop new types of renewable energy for its facilities.Â
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives, said: "We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now."
According to the Irish Times, local residents remain concerned about the impact on both human and animal health of the data centre and its 18 generators.Â
Those affected include the 300 children and staff at the Lisheenkyle school, as well as the sheep, dairy herds, Connemara ponies and livestock reared on adjoining land.
By contrast, the Co Galway Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Apple’s decision to invest, and the 300 jobs that the data centre will create.Â
The news of Arup’s win was revealed by the TechWeekEurope, which reported that Arup will run the project from its Cork offices.
The site looks to be operational by 2017.
Image: One they made earlier: Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters in California (Source: Joe Ravi/Wikimedia Commons)