Apple is planning to build another data centre in Denmark as it struggles to get a similar data centre in Ireland off the ground.
The second Apple data centre in Denmark will cost the company $920 million (£815 million), according to local media reports. Construction is expected to start before the end of 2017.
In February 2015, Apple announced plans to spend €1.7 billion (£1.5 billion) on a data centre in Ireland and another in Denmark, with each one costing €850 million (£752 million).
The first Denmark data centre is expected to go live later this year but the project on the west coast of Ireland, just outside a small town called Athenry in County Galway, is yet to start.
Apple wants to build eight data halls on a 500-acre site in Derrydonnell Forest, which is owned by state-sponsored forestry firm Coillte, and situated roughly three miles from Athenry.
Apple’s Athenry data centre has been welcomed by a large number of local residents but the Cupertino company is facing stiff opposition from a tiny handful of people who have raised environmental and planning concerns.
- Apple Maps/Skitch
Galway County Council granted Apple planning permission in September 2015 but eight objectors took the issue to local planning body An Bord Pleanála. Following public hearings in Galway last summer, An Bord Pleanála gave Apple the go-ahead to build the facility in August.
But local residents Sinéad Fitzpatrick, Allan Daly, and Wicklow landowner Brian McDonagh asked the High Court for a judicial review on environmental grounds, something that could delay the project by a year and a half.
Apple managed to get the case fast-tracked through Ireland’s Commercial Court after it filed a request last November but a final decision is yet to be passed.
The data centre case is now expected to be heard in court on July 30, Galway Bay FM reports.
Apple wants to use the data centres to store European user data and to help power online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps, and Siri for customers across Europe.
Peter Feeney, a Fine Gael county councillor for Galway, told The Times that Apple’s second Danish centre appears to be a “replacement or alternative” for the Athenry project.
“I can’t blame Apple,” Feeney reportedly said. “They’re two and a half years waiting for a result. If they decided to leave it would be hugely regrettable and heartbreaking for a lot of people. If it’s true, it’s a body blow for Galway. It would leave a bad taste.”
Business Insider has asked Apple if the second Danish data centre is being built as a replacement for the intended Irish data centre. Apple declined to comment.
An Apple spokesperson did however provide the following statement:
“Apple is proud to be a powerful engine of growth across Europe, supporting over 1.5 million jobs in the region. Our data centers power billions of iMessages, answers from Siri, and song downloads from iTunes and help to ensure the fastest possible response speeds for our customers.
“As they all run on 100% renewable energy that means no matter how much data they handle, there is zero greenhouse gas emissions impact from their electricity use. We’re thrilled to be expanding our data center operations in Denmark, and investing in new sources of clean power. The planned facility in Aabenraa, like all of our data centers, will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one, thanks to new clean energy sources we’re adding.”