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Apple invests 1.7bn euro in Irish and Danish data centres

Mon 23 Feb 2015

apple-athenry-viborg

Apple Inc. announced today that it will invest €1.7B (£12.5bn+) in new data centre infrastructure in Ireland and Denmark. The new constructions will take advantage of green technologies and cooling techniques suitable to the below-temperate climes of the chosen locations: Athenry, 17.4km (10 miles) from Atlantic-facing Oranmore near Galway, has a Maritime Temperate Climate, with mild winters and cool summers, while Viborg has a similar temperature profile due to its proximity to the winds over Hjarbæk Fjord 15.3km (less than 10 miles) away.

Both sites are expected to operate on 100% renewable energy, and are set to begin operating in 2017. Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “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 combined footprint of the two data centres will equal some 332000 square metres (3.5+ million square feet), and is intended to store data from a range of Apple services including iMessage, Maps, Siri, iTunes Store data and App store data – all for Apple’s European customers.

The Athenry establishment includes a scheme to recover land formerly used as harvestable stock for non-native trees, with several planting schemes accompanying the company’s pledge to establish outdoor education environments for schools local to the area.

The company’ environmental chief, Lisa Jackson notes that the new plants will trump Apple’s recent commitment to solar powered data centres in California, saying: “We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” going on to state: “Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy,”

The establishment of data centres in co-operative European countries which are relatively uncontroversial in terms of data sovereignty seems a safe move for Apple, who might have found easier cooling solutions shivering close to Facebook in the Node Pole. Since the data intended for the new centres is apparently exclusively European, it seems that data sovereignty issues are making some clouds more geosynchronous than others. Last year Microsoft arrived in some difficulty when under a warrant to produce data on a US client which was stored in an MS data centre in Ireland.

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