After years of construction, Apple's Viborg data center is online, and Apple has spotlighted how the data center will be 100% powered by clean energy.
Apple's data center in Viborg, a 45,000-square-meter facility offering network support and data storage to its users across the region, is now running, and fully staffed. The data center helps power Apple's App Store, Apple Music, iMessage, Siri, and other services in Europe that are run entirely on renewable energy from local projects.
To help provide power for the center, Apple has announced that it will invest in the construction of two of the "worlds biggest" onshore wind turbines, to help fulfill the goal of becoming carbon neutral. The 200-meter wind turbines will be located near Esbjerg, and are expected to produce 62 gigawatt hours each year. If used solely on the grid, this would be enough to power almost 20,000 homes.
"Combatting 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. This is an area where we have to lead — for the sake of our planet and future generations."
The power produced at Esbjerg will support Apple's data center in Viborg. Surplus power will be sent to the Danish grid, but it isn't clear how much that will be.
The Esbjerg wind project follows the recent completion of one of Scandinavia's largest solar arrays, located in Thisted, Northern Jutland, the first Danish solar project built without the use of public subsidies. The wind and solar projects both support Apple's newly completed data center in Viborg, which is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
Additionally, German supplier Varta has committed to running its Apple production with 100 percent renewable power. Varta is another addition to the number of European suppliers working towards clean energy solutions.
Apple says that at present, Henkel and tesa SE in Germany, DSM Engineering Materials based in the Netherlands, STMicroelectronics based in Switzerland, and Solvay based in Belgium are all using clean energy solutions.
Since the Supplier Clean Energy project was launched in October 2015, 72 manufacturing partners in 17 different countries have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production. Once all of Apple's supplier projects are completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.