Apple to build second renewables-powered data centre in Denmark

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Apple Inc AAPL.O said on Monday it will spend 6 billion Danish crowns (715 million pounds) on a new data centre in Denmark, its second in the Nordic country to run entirely on renewable energy.

The audience assembles before the start of Apple's annual developer conference in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Facebook FB.O in January also announced plans to build a data centre in Denmark, only its third outside of the United States.

Apple has pledged to back the Paris climate accord by switching to renewable energy and has recently issued a $1 billion green bond after the United States pulled out of the pact. Chief Executive Tim Cook was one of several CEOs who directly appealed to President Donald Trump to keep the United States in the pact before he made his decision.

Apple said the data centre would begin operations in the second quarter of 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 centre operations in Denmark, and investing in new sources of clean power,” Erik Stannow, Nordic manager for Apple, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

“The planned facility in Aabenraa, like all of our data centres, will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one, thanks to new clean energy sources we’re adding,” he said.

Apple’s first data centre in Denmark near the town of Viborg is due to begin operations later this year.

Apple said a planned data centre in Athenry, Ireland, announced in 2015 had yet to begin construction.

Apple confirmed that the Irish data centre is currently under judicial review.

Denmark, a leader in wind power, has abundant supplies of wind energy as well biomass energy.

“The reliability of the Danish grid is one of the main reasons we will operate two sites in Denmark,” Stannow said.

The small Nordic country hopes these investments will boost its IT sector.

“Denmark is becoming northern Europe’s hub for data centres with a high prospective for growth for the tracking industries delivering solutions to the many data centres sprouting up all over the world,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Louise Heavens, Jason Neely and David Evans