Agricultural biomass to deliver power to Apple’s Danish data center

Date: 7 October 2016

Aarhus University is helping Apple benefit from biomass as a part of the future power supply for the company’s data center in Denmark. The American multinational technology company will invest more than DKK 20 million in the research and development project facilitated by the Danish university in order to clear the way for the utilisation of biomass.

Aarhus University is helping Apple benefit from biomass as a part of the future power supply for the company’s data center in Denmark.

Biomass from manure and left-over corn will be included in the energy supply required at Apple’s future data center in Viborg, announced the Nordic manager, Erik Stannow at Friday’s press conference on the firm’s investment in the data center. “From day one, we will supply the center with renewable energy including solar and wind power. In times of cloudy and windless weather, biomass will be able to meet our energy demand”, says Erik Stannow.

Apple will invest more than DKK 20 million in a research and development project that will clear the way for the utilisation of biomass. The money will go to Aarhus University, Apple’s future next-door neighbour when the data center is complete.

The university is excited about their collaboration with Apple: “We share Apple’s ambition to develop new sources for renewable energy and we are eager to collaborate with them in this project, states Niels C. Nielsen, the Dean at the Science and Technology Department at Aarhus University. Even though biogas is a tremendously important resource, it is underdeveloped at present. We believe this research cooperation will lead to substantial innovations in the ability to deliver a stable source for renewable energy”, he says.

At the press conference, Erik Stannow also used the opportunity to talk about the warm welcome from the citizens of Viborg: “We are grateful for the great support from the municipality, the city council, Invest in Denmark, and the community.

The leveling of the area where the new data center will be built is underway.

To show goodwill towards the local area of Viborg, Apple has agreed to finance the expansion of a bicycle track, enabling the citizens in Foulum to cycle safely to Viborg. The Mayor of Viborg, Torsten Nielsen (K) hopes that the data center with its 150 job positions will foster even more jobs within the municipality. A vision the Nordic Manager at Apple also shares: “Like the case has been in other countries, we expect to attract other big businesses and contribute to an increase in local investments here in Viborg”, Erik Stannow says.

The CEO of Apple is visiting Denmark in order to attend an open house event where 800 citizens from the Foulum area are invited.

Activities at the event will include a viewing of a model of the future data center as well as a number of visualisations of the center.

The first phase of the building is expected to be done by the end of 2017. Ongoing expansions will continue up until 2026.

Source: Energy Supply /State of Green