New renewable-powered facilities are part of big European push by company

Apple is to build two huge data centres, powered by renewable energy, as part of its biggest ever European project.

It will spend £1.25 billion on the facilities, which will be in Ireland and Denmark. The two centres will power iTunes and the App Store, as well as Apple’s other online services.

The two new facilities are expected to be operational by 2017, and will each measure 166,000 square metres.

“This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

The news comes as Apple highlights its contributions in Europe. It has paid out €6.6 billion to European developers since the App Store began, it said, and it claims that nearly 530,000 jobs have been created by iOS development.

There are 61,800 registered Apple developers in the UK, the biggest number of any European country.

Apple itself employs 18,300 people in Europe and is expanding further.

While all Apple data centres run on renewable energy, the new facilities will have “the lowest environmental impact yet”, the company said. The company didn’t say what form of green power they will run on, but said that it would work with local partners to develop “additional renewable energy projects”.