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Apple to open two data centres 23x the size of Wembley pitch

Apple to spend €1.7bn on new plants in Ireland and Denmark

Apple has announced plans to build two massive data centres in Ireland and Denmark, helping the company to power its ever-expanding roster of online services. The company will spend €1.7 billion constructing the two new sites, which are planned to be up and running by 2017. 

The scale of the data centres is vast. They will each measure 166,000 square metres – that’s 23 times the size of the football pitch inside Wembley Stadium. Nevertheless, Apple claims it will be possible to power each of them using “100% renewable energy”.

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The site in County Galway, Ireland will “recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest”, the company claims. The second centre, in Viborg, Denmark, will be sited next to one of the country’s largest electrical substations, reducing the need for additional generators, and will use any excess heat to help warm homes in the neighbourhood. Apple says both facilities will run on “clean, renewable energy sources from day one”, and that it will work with local partners to explore options for using wind and other sources of power.

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The two data centres will be built in addition to Apple’s new headquarters, which is currently under construction in Cupertino, California. The so-called Spaceship campus is due to be opened next year, and will accomodate 12,000 staff across 260,000 square metres of office space. 

The two new data centres will be used to cope with the expansion of online services offered by the company. In addition to the iTunes Store, App Store, Maps and Siri, Apple is developing the iCloud storage platform and has been heavily tipped to be launching a cloud music service under the Beats brand. The expansion of Apple’s video-on-demand services is another possibility, with rumours of a Netflix rival in the offing.  

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

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