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Apple picks Denmark for two of the world's largest onshore wind turbines

 

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Pledge: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Pledge: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Pledge: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple has announced that it is to build two of the world's largest onshore wind turbines in Denmark.

The 200m-tall structures will support Apple's data centre in Viborg and is part of Apple's recently-stated plan to make its products and supply chain "carbon neutral".

The additional investment will act as a reminder to Irish authorities of the planning delays which saw Apple walk away from a planned €850m data centre in Athenry, Co Galway.

The giant turbines, which are expected to produce 62 gigawatt hours per year or enough to power 20,000 homes, will supply the Danish electricity grid with any surplus energy produced.

"Combating climate change demands urgent action and global partnership and the Viborg data center is powerful proof that we can rise to this generational challenge," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "Investments in clean energy deliver breakthrough innovations that bring clean energy and good jobs to businesses and local communities."

Apple, which has seen its value rise to over €2 trillion for the first time this week after a stock split, says that the new turbines will also act as a test site for powerful offshore wind turbines.

Last month, the company announced that it would make all of its products, including its entire manufacturing and supply chain, 'carbon neutral' within 10 years, leading to a carbon footprint of "net zero" by 2030.

"We hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change," chief executive Tim Cook said at the time. "Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future."

Specifically, Apple is to reduce emissions by 75pc by 2030 while "developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25pc" of its overall carbon footprint. Apple, which employs 6,000 people at its Cork city campus, says that all iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch devices released in the past year are made with recycled content.

This year's commitments mean that by 2030, every Apple device sold is to have "net zero climate impact", including the transition of all of its European-based suppliers to renewable power.

Wind farms are proving to be popular among tech giants running data centres.

Last month, Amazon announced that it would build a new 115-megawatt wind farm in County Galway to help power its huge Irish data centres. The facility will be constructed in Ardderroo, half way between Galway City and Oughterard.

It is expected to have over 20 large turbines and will begin operating in 2022, doubling the company's energy production capability to 229 megawatts, equivalent to powering 185,000 Irish homes.

Irish Independent