Apple is planning to expand the company’s operations in Austin, Texas, including investing $1 billion in a new North Austin campus. The 133-acre campus for an initial 5,000 additional employees will be powered by 100% renewable energy, the tech giant said.
Currently the company’s Austin facilities can accommodate 6,200 employees, making it the largest group of Apple employees outside headquarters in Cupertino, California. The new Austin campus being planned about a mile away at Robinson Ranch should have workspace for 15,000 employees in the future.
During a press conference announcing the new campus, Apple anticipates building almost 3 million square feet of offices for employees performing engineering, research and development, operations, finance, sales and customer service functions, Construction Dive’s Kim Slowey reported.
The company says it will invest $10 billion in US data centers over the next five years, including $4.5 billion in 2018 and 2019. Expansions are currently happening to Apple data centers in North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada. The newest data center is currently under development in Waukee, Iowa, about 20 miles west of Des Moines. It’s expected to come online in 2020, and will run on 100% renewable energy.
This year the tech company continued making major renewable energy procurement deals. In April, Apple said that their renewable energy projects around the world had 626 megawatts of generation capacity. As a result, all of their global facilities — including retail stores, offices, and data centers — were powered by 100% renewables.
“Now that renewable energies are more mainstream and the cost of the energy is far lower, local utilities, developers, and green-energy companies are willing to take on greater roles and risk in building new energy projects,” Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan wrote earlier this year. “Apple’s main role is often to commit to buying the power for periods up to 20 years.”
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