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Apple plans huge new data centre in Oregon

Apple has broken ground on a massive data centre in central Oregon, according to a report.

Workers have begun clearing and flattening land on Apple's property in Prineville, Oregon, which will eventually be home to two 338,000 square-foot buildings, local newspaper The Oregonian has reported.

The first phase of construction will cost Apple $68 million (£42 million), which covers the price of one building and two data halls inside. The second building will eventually house 14 additional data halls. The total cost of the project could cost billions once the facilities are equipped with the servers needed to run Apple's iCloud service.

Apple earlier this year purchased the 60-acre property in Prineville from Crook County for a reported $5.6 million (£3.5 million). Apple isn't the only tech giant to lay down roots in the area. Prineville is also home to Facebook's data centres, and both Amazon Web Services and Google have data centres in Oregon.

Apple has promised that its Prineville facility will run on 100 per cent renewable energy.

"At Prineville we have access to enough local renewable energy sources to completely meet the needs of the facility," Apple wrote on its website. "To achieve that goal, we're working with two local utilities as well as a number of renewable energy generation providers to purchase wind, hydro, and geothermal power — all from local sources."

Meanwhile, Google this week gave users a rare, behind-the-scenes look inside its data centers.