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(Photo: Apple)

Apple will build two data centers in Europe, spending 1.7 billion euros to construct and operate the facilities, which will be located in Ireland and Denmark.

The US based consumer technology group said the centers will provide the European backend for online services that include the company's iTunes store, its app store and various applications.

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

Apple said the new data centers will run entirely on renewable energy sources and will have the lowest environmental impact of all data  facilities the company runs worldwide.

The two data centers, which each will measure 166,000 square meters, are expected to be operational in 2017.

Last year, Apple launched its CarPlay automotive connectivity system, which many carmakers plan to roll out in new models in coming years. Press reports this month also say the company is planning to further expand its automotive activities.