Apple announced this week that it will begin construction on a data center in Denmark that will run entirely on renewable energy.
The $921 million project will begin operations in 2019 in Aabenraa in southern Denmark near the German border. It will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our data center operations in Denmark, and investing in new sources of clean power,” Erik Stannow, Nordic manager for Apple, said in a statement to Reuters. “The planned facility in Aabenraa, like all of our data centers, will run on 100% renewable energy from day one, thanks to new clean energy sources we’re adding,” he said.
The data center is Apple’s third outside of the United States and its second in Denmark.
In August 2016, Apple received the go-ahead to build a data center in Athenry, County Gallway on Ireland’s west coast. Apple has yet to break ground on that one and now the future of the data center is in question, due mostly to Irish regulations and the company’s new plans in Denmark.
Apple, along with Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon, have chosen to remain steadfast in their clean energy initiatives, despite President Trump’s executive action regarding the Clean Power Plan and Paris Climate Agreement. In April, Equinix, one of the world’s largest data center service providers, announced it will continue with its goal of powering its global data centers with renewable energy. The news at datacenterknowledge.com also says Iron Mountain, another data center provider, will not change current plans to power its facilities with renewable energy.
Committing to 100% renewable energy for data centers, however, comes with challenges. As datacenterknowledge.com points out, “it’s tough to make solar power work at data center scale, and photovoltaic solar arrays are more expensive than most alternatives. As utilities make slow progress on renewable-sourced power, data centers face pressure from environmental groups.”