Apple to open European data centers powered 100 percent by renewables

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Apple announced a new plan to build and operating two data centers in Europe — each of which will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

One of Apple’s new data centers will utilize the windy environment of Viborg, Denmark. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

According to Apple, the company the directly employs 18,300 people across 19 countries, but also supports nearly 700,000 jobs in Europe — including more than 500,000 related to app development.

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

The two centers will be located in Atheny, County Galway, Ireland and Viborg, Denmark, and will be used to power the iTunes store, Apple’s app store, iMessage, Apple Maps and Siri for their customers in Europe.

Apple’s announcement to power their data centers on renewable energy isn’t much of a surprise, as all their data centers are powered on renewable energy. The company said they will be working with local partners to further invest in renewable energy projects and development. This includes growing and harvesting non-native trees, as well as restoring native trees, in the Derrdonnell Forest outside Athenry, Ireland. In Viborg, Denmark, the data center will be strategically placed next to an electrical substation, causing it to capture excess heat to warm homes in the area.

“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” said 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.”

Apple’s goal is to open both data centers by 2017.

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