Apple is finally close to beginning construction work on its long-delay Iowa data center and has begun infrastructure improvements on the site, and is planning to expand and connect its Viborg data center in Denmark to a district heating scheme.

“Over the next year, Apple will expand the Viborg data center’s operations and build new infrastructure to capture excess heat energy for the city’s long-term benefit,” the company said this week as part of a sustainability update announcement.

Apple Viborg Denmark.jpg
– Apple

Apple completed work on the Viborg facility in 2019, and has invested in two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines to power it. Plans for a second facility in Denmark were also canceled in 2019.

As part of the post, Apple also said it was working with ELYSIS to source commercial-purity low-carbon aluminum for its new SE smartphone. The aluminum was produced by ELYSIS at its Industrial Research and Development Centre in Quebec using hydropower.

Apple has issued three Green Bonds since 2016 totaling $4.7 billion to accelerate progress toward the company’s goal to become carbon neutral across its supply chain by 2030.

Its first two bonds in 2016 and 2017 are now fully allocated. The 2019 Green Bond is supporting 50 projects, including the low-carbon aluminum partnership. The company said those 50 projects will mitigate or offset 2,883,000 metric tons of CO2e, install nearly 700MW of renewable energy capacity globally, and promote new recycling research and development.

More than $500 million of the company’s 2019 Green Bond proceeds have been allocated to clean energy projects, including on-shore wind turbines powering the company’s data center in Viborg, with all surplus energy going back into the Danish grid.

Apple close to breaking ground in Iowa

In Iowa, it seems like Apple may finally be close to breaking ground on its long-delayed data center. According to the Business Record, Apple has begun infrastructure improvements at the site in Waukee.
– Apple

The city has approved construction drawings for public improvements and the Waukee City Council is expected to approve the site plan in April or May, said Brad Deets, assistant city administrator, told the publication. Construction will likely begin in the summer, he said.

Apple first announced its intentions in 2017, saying at the time the facility was due to be brought online in 2020. It seems at some point the project was changed to August 2022, before the company put in a request in 2019 with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to extend the deadline to finish the facility another five years and push the completion date to August 2027.

In April 2021 the tech giant said this week that the facility had entered the design phase, more than four years after it was first announced and a year after it was originally due to come into operation.

The facility was first announced as a 400,000 sq ft (37,000 sqm) data center and an investment of $1.3 billion. The filed plans show one 315,773 square foot (29,300 sqm) data center building on the site on Hickman Road alongside a 63,349 sq ft (5,600 sqm) administration building, a 10,511 sq ft (975 sqm) maintenance building, and three network distribution buildings totaling 2,210 sq ft (200 sqm).

Apple “has been very focused on staying engaged with us and keeping us well informed throughout the process in terms of where they are on their timing,” Waukee Mayor Courtney Clarke said. “As their building plans have changed, they’ve kept us updated. And yes, we are very glad to see them move forward.”

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