Apple just announced plans to construct two new data centers in Europe – and like all current Apple data centers, the facilities will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Constructed at a total cost of $1.9 billion, the data centers will each measure 166,000 square meters (545,000 square feet) and will power the company’s iTunes App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri services.
The data centers will be located in Athenry in western Ireland and in Viborg in central Denmark and Apple expects them to be operational in 2017. Not only will the facilities be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, but they will also be constructed with additional sustainable features.
The center in Athenry, Ireland, will include an outdoor education center for local schools and a walking trail, and is to be constructed on land “previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees.” Additionally the company will seek to restore native trees to nearby Derrydonnell Forest.
The Apple Data center for Viborg, Denmark will be designed to capture excess heat from the servers, which will then be conducted into the district’s heating system to provide warmth for adjoining communities. Furthermore, it will be located next to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations, removing the need for additional generators.
As for precisely what renewable energy sources the data centers will utilize, it is likely that Apple will embrace the potentials of wind energy in the reason, and Apple emphasizes that they will “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 centre.”