Google has acquired a large plot of land adjacent to the construction site of a massive Apple data center expected to come online next year.
The Alphabet subsidiary doesn’t yet have definitive plans for the lot, but it bought the property to make sure it can build a data center there if it decides it needs more capacity in Europe, a company spokesperson told Reuters.
Europe is a huge market for Google, Apple, and other internet giants. Having data center capacity there not only reduces latency of their services for European customers but also helps them be in compliance with European laws that dictate where service providers can store European citizens’ personal data.
Denmark is attractive for companies building massive data centers because of its cool climate (which makes it cheaper to cool computers) and because it offers relatively low-cost renewable energy. Google, Apple, and Facebook (which is also building a data center in Denmark) have all committed to powering their infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy, and those commitments strongly influence their data center site selection decisions.
Google’s current European data center footprint consists of facilities in London, Dublin, Frankfurt; Eemshaven, Netherlands; Hamina, Finland; and St. Ghislain, Belgium.
Its new 324-acre plot in Denmark is located in Aabenraa Municipality, close to the electricity hub called Kassø Transformer Station. The company owns another plot of land 50 miles to the north, which was also acquired as a potential future data center site, according to the Google spokesperson.