Apple’s Danish data center to warm homes and provide fertilizer to farmers

After analyzing Apple’s environment report for 2016, which was released yesterday, MacWorld spotted that the company’s data center being built in Denmark will return excess heat to the community, helping warm local homes. The facility in Denmark’s central Jutland region will be partly powered by recycling waste products from farms. Apple is working with Aarhus University on a solution that could turn some of the waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for local farmers to use on their fields.

Apple says the data center will be running on 100 percent renewable energy and won’t require back-up generators due to its proximity to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations.

“The facility is designed to capture excess heat from its equipment and conduct it into the local district heating system to help warm homes in the community,” Apple explains in the Environmental Responsibility Report document.

The company is partnering with Aarhus University on a system that passes agricultural waste through a digester to generate methane, which is then used to create renewable electricity for the data center. Much of the agricultural waste going into the digester will come from local farms in what the iPhone maker calls a “mutually beneficial relationship.”

The 166,000-square-meter data center, one of the world’s largest, is valued at nearly a billion bucks and files as the largest foreign capital investment in Danish history.

Photo: Apple’s European sales director Erik Stannow presents plans and models for the Danish data center (left); actual construction of the facility (right). Credit: Henning Bagger/Scanpix.

Source: MacWorld