Apple to invest €1.7 billion to build two new european data centers

Apple today announced a €1.7 billion plan to build and operate two data centers in Europe, each powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The facilities, located in County Galway, Ireland, and Denmark’s central Jutland, will power Apple’s online services including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

Apple supports nearly 672,000 European jobs, including 530,000 jobs directly related to the development of iOS apps. Since the App Store’s debut in 2008, developers across Europe have earned more than €6.6 billion through the worldwide sale of apps.

Apple now directly employs 18,300 people across 19 European countries and has added over 2,000 jobs in the last 12 months alone. Last year, Apple spent more than €7.8 billion with European companies and suppliers helping build Apple products and support operations around the world.

Like all Apple data centers, the new facilities will run entirely on clean, renewable energy sources from day one. Apple will also work with local partners to develop additional renewable energy projects from wind or other sources to provide power in the future. These facilities will have the lowest environmental impact yet for an Apple data center.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

The two data centers, each measuring 166,000 square metres, are expected to begin operations in 2017 and include designs with additional benefits for their communities. For the project in Athenry, Ireland, Apple will recover land previously used for growing and harvesting 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, Denmark, Apple will eliminate the need for additional generators by locating the data center adjacent to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. The facility is also designed to capture excess heat from equipment inside the facility and conduct it into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighboring community.

Source: Apple Inc.

13 Comments

  1. It’s disappointing that Apple isn’t building one of these data centres in the UK. The UK population buy more Apple products than any other European country, not to mention the UK talent that Apple enjoys in developing it’s products in the first place. It would nice to see a little show of reciprocity. The UK has fairly low corporation tax compared to the rest of Europe and many areas outside of the southeast that are desperate for any kind of investment so why not Apple?

    1. “Fairly low tax rates” or “the Lowest Tax rates”… I seem to recall that Apple was recently punished for taking advantage of the tax structure of Ireland. Seems that Ireland was rewarded doesn’t it? We probably would not see Apple or other corporations taking their business to places like China if they were not punished by greedy governments. Stop punishing the corporations and you might find taxing their employees far more lucrative.
      Google has been purchasing “dark fiber” for the same reason. But that is cheap to buy and of limited value compared to the server farms that Apple is building. It is not all that easy to plunk down billions for the infrastructure. No matter what happens in the near future, owning this kind of hardware is of great strategic advantage. Go Apple.

      1. I think you missed my point. Apple has been supported heavily by the UK. Whether that be from more customers than from any other European country, more developers than from any other European country (62000), Jony Ives, educated for free by the UK and Apple gets full benefit from that education. Without Ives there is no iMac, iPod, MacBook Air, iPhone, Apple Watch and therefore no data servers. This is not some argument about who has the lowest taxes and saving a few quid from government enduced tax havens, it’s about giving back to those who have supported you. This decision was not about tax anyway, because Denmark has relatively high taxes. I have nothing against Ireland or Denmark, but honestly what have they ever done for Apple? The UK on the other hand, and I didn’t even include ARM. So I was just asking the question why not the UK Apple? Also it makes sense to house the data servers closer to where the main bulk of your customers are doesn’t it?

        1. “Without Ives there is no iMac, iPod, MacBook Air, iPhone, Apple Watch and therefore no data servers.”

          Thats not true, and if you give it some thought you’d come to the same conclusion. Reason being, if Jonny Ive weren’t designing Apple’s devices, some one else would. Now, whether that person would be successful is anyone’s guess, but Ive is hardly the engine that’s motivating Apple.

          Also don’t see the point of mentioning that Ive’s education was taken care of by Britain, other than to imply that Apple somehow owes Britain something as a result. That’s nonsense, because while it’s awesome that Ive was born in a country that doesn’t send its citizens into serious debt to obtain an education, that doesn’t by any stretch means that Ive somehow owes Britain for it (he was a beneficiary of a policy that he had nothing to do with).

          It’s a good question why Apple chose Ireland and Denmark over Britain (or Spain, or France) but to imply that Britain is somehow owed a data center is a bit wrongheaded.

          1. Cheers for putting me straight there, you’re absolute right of course someone would have created Beethoven’s 9th symphony if Beethoven hadn’t been born and someone would have painted the Mona Lisa at some point even if De Vinci hadn’t created his enigmatic masterpiece and of course someone else would have created an iMac even if Jony Ives hadn’t got there first. You know the iMac that saved Apple and ushered in a new era, a modern relevant Apple, the iMac that led on to the iPod and the iPhone. And let’s be quite frank someone would have eventually created Apple even if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hadn’t got there first. Because genius is nothing special, someone will always be just around the corner with that big idea, giant creation. Ok I apologise, I couldn’t resist the sarcasm, put simply you are talking nonsense. P.s what exactly is wrong headed about asking the question to Apple as to why it hadn’t chosen it’s biggest European supporter to invest in? You are right Apple doesn’t owe any country anything, but given a choice of countries why not the country that supports you the most? That’s a fair question isn’t it?

            1. What does “the country that supports you the most?” even mean in this context? Apple is going to do what they deem best for Apple and when all is said and done, they clearly don’t think that building a data center if Britain is good for Apple.

              There are probably a lot of reasons for that, though you–nor I–have no idea what those reason are.

              You clearly wish that that weren’t the case–I get that–but without knowing exactly how Apple came to their decision you’re wasting energy that could probably be better spend somewhere else.

              Don’t worry about the sarcastic tone, by the way. I am hardly taking this seriously enough for it to matter.

              And your point about Jonny Ive is also a bit silly because Apple is a consumer electronics company. I enjoy their products, but it’s not like they’re curing cancer. Ive is a designer, and obviously a talented one, but as I said, if he weren’t designing Apple products, someone else would.

              And that you manage to work Leonardo De Vinci into the discussion is INCREDIBLY arrogant because while I dig what Ive does. he’s no De Vinci.

    2. I find it refreshing to see Apple building data centers on the free and civilized world, especially in light of the US (NSA) and British (GCHQ) having hacked into the world’s largest sim card manufacturer and gaining unfettered access to billions of mobile phones around the globe.

      It’s not as good as bringing those responsible to justice but it’s a slice of karma that I find particularly tasteful.

  2. “We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it … ”

    This is the message that needs to be shouted loud. Apple in recent years has done a lot to improve the environment and to improve the lives of those who work in the supply chain. Other companies should be encouraged to follow suit.

    It’s far too easy to trash the world that we live in without regard to the generations who will follow us. It’s important that Apple and others should try to leave a long lasting positive legacy.

  3. It’s a global economy. But Apple has taken a further step forward. Renewable energy! Contributing to the local economies! Integrating into the local communities!

    Apple is so wonderfully smart. PLEASE other companies of the world. Catch Up! Compete!

  4. It’s a global economy. But Apple has taken a further step forward. Renewable energy! Contributing to the local economies! Integrating into the local communities!

    Apple is so wonderfully smart. PLEASE other companies of the world. Catch Up! Compete!

  5. Presumably Apple will be deploying a large chunk of their unrepatriated profits to build these power plants…

    As for building one in the UK perhaps the lack of winter sunshine means a solar plant is not viable. I loved through one British winter many years ago and I didn’t see even a patch of blue sky for three months…

    1. @ SunbeamRapier, Three months worth of love making equates to three months indoors!!!
      Unless your house (specifically bedroom) had a glass roof or skyline window, I am not surprised you did not see a patch of blue sky for that length of time!!! 🙂

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