Tech giant Apple to invest €850m in new eco Irish data centre
Tech giant Apple is investing €1.7bn in two new data centres, one of which will be located in Athenry, Co Galway.
The centres will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes store and the Apps store. The operation at Athenry, Co Galway, and another at Viborg in Denmark, represent the technology giant's biggest project in Europe to date.
It is expected that the €850m Irish facility, to be run on renewable energy, will create 300 jobs during its multiple phases of construction.
The 166,000 square metre operation is planned to be up and running by 2017.
Apple chief executive Tim Cooke 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 project will involve recovering land and restoring native trees to Derrydonnell Forest in Athenry. An outdoor education space will be built for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community, Apple said.
The plant will help power online services including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for customers across Europe.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was delighted with the investment in Ireland.
"It is a very significant investment in the west of Ireland and is fantastic news for Athenry with significant knock-on benefits for the region," he said.
“I was delighted this morning to hear the announcement by Apple. This is the start of a very exciting trend where others may well follow. I had two very positive meetings with Tim Cook, chief executive, both in Cork and Silicon Valley and it was an ideal opportunity to stress to him the opportunities that exist for that kind of development here in Ireland,” he said.
For the project in Athenry, Apple will recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest.
The project will also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community.
The company said that for the Athenry project it will “recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest”.
“The project will also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community,” Apple said.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives said innovation is about leaving the world" better than we found it."
"The time for tackling climate change is now,” Ms Jackson said . “We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources."
"Our commitment to environmental responsibility is good for the planet, good for our business and good for the European economy.”
Apple already employs more than 3,000 people in Ireland, mainly at its European headquarters in Cork.
Microsoft and Google are among other tech giants to locate data centres in the country, where the predictable climate is seen as an asset in lowering cooling costs for the technology involved.