Apple’s Danish data centre plans surge while Irish project stalls

10 Jul 2017

Apple is investing in Denmark. Image: Anton Watman/Shutterstock

Denmark is gradually emerging as a data centre hub, as Apple announces second renewable site in the country.

When Facebook revealed plans to build a data centre in Denmark in January, it marked the third such facility the tech giant had outside of the US, with the Scandinavian state joining Sweden and Ireland as one of the chosen few.

As it turns out, that Danish move was no fluke, as Apple’s interest there continues to build.

Future Human

Today (10 July), the Tim Cook-led company revealed plans to erect a new data centre in Denmark that would run entirely on renewable energy and will cost around 6bn Danish Krone (€806m).

The new facility will be built near Denmark’s German border in an area called Aabenraa, and aims to be fully functional by Q2 in 2019. Meanwhile, the first Danish data centre Apple invested in is expected to go live this year.

“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, told Reuters.

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

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

The unlucky twin

Meanwhile in Ireland, a pivotal decision on the €850m Apple data centre in Athenry has been postponed until July.

Ironically, this data centre was initially planned two years ago alongside the almost-complete Danish facility. The Athenry case has been delayed after several planning objections in the intervening years.

Now, given that Denmark is to benefit from a second site, it’s possible to suggest that Ireland is missing out on the potential of a major investment due to the hold-up.

The data centres are to be host to popular Apple services such as iCloud, Apple Music, Siri and various e-commerce activities. The Athenry base, much like its Danish equivalents, will also be powered by renewable energy – if it goes ahead, that is.

Apple is investing in Denmark. Image: Anton Watman/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic