Greentech Lead America: Apple is planning to power its
main US data center by renewable energy sources in 2012.
Apple will buy renewable energy equipment from SunPower and startup Bloom
Energy to set up two solar array installations in and around Maiden, North
Carolina, near its core data center.
The solar farm is capable of supplying 84 million kWh of energy annually. The
sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking
Apple is also planning to build a third, smaller, bio-gas
fuel-cell plant later in 2012.
The two solar farms will cover 250 acres, among the largest in the industry,
according to Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer.
Apple plans on using coal-free electricity in all three
of its data centers, with the Maiden facility coal-free by the end of 2012.
“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they
will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some
land very near to the data center in Maiden, which will help us meet this
goal,” Oppenheimer told Reuters.
“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the
planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources
nearby. We haven’t finalized our plans for on-site generation, but any power we
need to run our center in Prineville that we get from the grid will be 100 per
cent renewable and locally generated sources,” Oppenheimer added.