The Stack Archive News Article

Apple’s new data centres give back to the environment

Fri 21 Apr 2017

Two new data centres in Denmark and Ireland will benefit the environment, with the Denmark centre to be used for heat production

Apple is pushing ahead with their plan to be one of the greenest companies in the world – thanks to the introduction of two new green data centres. About US $1.8bn is being invested in the two data centres – one in Athenry, Ireland, the other in Denmark. Both of these will fully embrace Apple’s commitment to the environment.

The centre in Ireland will be powered by energy generated by ocean waves. Meanwhile, the excess heat generated by the new Denmark data centre will be captured and returned to the local district’s heating system, thus warming up homes in the local community.

In a Stack piece earlier this week, Mats Carselid of Alfa Laval’s data centre cooling team, he explained how harvesting heat was a way for data centres to harness higher room temperatures, increase energy efficiency and lower operational expenses. Examples of data centres acting as heat producers have been seen in the UK, Sweden and across Europe. Data centre waste has been harvested and used to provide heat for swimming pools, neighbourhoods and cities.

The Jutland data centre will be partly powered by recycling waste products from farms. Apple has been working with Aarhus University on a system that generates methane as a result of passing agricultural waste through a digester. This is then used to power the data centre. In addition, the digester reaction also converts some of the waste into nutrient-rich fertiliser, which is then returned by Apple to local farmers to use on their fields.

Apple’s new data centres – due later in the year – continue with its environmentally-friendly aims. The company is using more recycled materials in its products and packaging, while its new corporate headquarters, the Cupertino-based Apple Park, will run on renewable energy.


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