Apple goes green with €1.7B investment in European data centres running on renewable energy

Date: 27 February 2015

Apple has announced an investment of €1.7 billion to establish two data centers, one each in Ireland and Denmark, running completely on renewable energy and will support its services iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri in Europe.

Marking Apple’s biggest such investment in Europe, the data centers will be located in County Galway, Ireland, and Denmark’s central Jutland.

“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” noted Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP, 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.”

Measuring 166,000 square metres, the facilities will become operational in 2017 with sub-projects on the cards, including educational spaces and reforestations that provide benefits for the local communities, claims the Apple press release.

Apple in Viborg, Denmark, will do away with generators by locating the data centre adjacent to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. Heat generated from the data center will be channeled into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighbouring community.

Apple can get financial support worth millions for the Viborg project, according to Børsen.

The reason is that part of Apple’s investment is to let surplus heat from the planned more than 160,000 sqm computer servers flow to the district heating network in Viborg. This will be done through investments in specific plants to which the government provides large subsidies if they are designed properly.

At Danish District Heating Association, Managing Director Kim Mortensen is thrilled that Apple will lead the surplus heat from the servers into the district heating network – no matter that it requires public support fianance to get Apple to it.

“The support is essential and means that the district heating companies can think long-term. The Danish district heating system can be a real export success of know-how”, he says.

Source: Dataconomy