Apple to spend $1.9 bn building two Europe data centres

Apple Inc plans to spend euro 1.7 billion ($1.9 billion) building data centres in Ireland and Denmark in its biggest European investment, with the facilities set to run services such as iTunes and maps for users of its devices.

The centres, located in Athenry, Ireland, and Viborg, Denmark, will be powered by renewable energy, Cupertino, California-based Apple said on Monday. The facilities are scheduled to begin operations in 2017 in the two countries known for their use of wind power.

The project lets Apple address European requests for data to be stored closer to local users and authorities, while also allowing it to benefit from a chilly climate that helps save on equipment-cooling costs. Google Inc opened a data centre in Finland in 2011 and in September unveiled plans for one in the Netherlands. Facebook Inc started one in Sweden in 2013.