Biggest Private Solar Installation In The US Powers Apple’s Cloud (Photos, Video)

Apple’s huge solar farm is now live and supplies clean energy for its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. By the end of the year 60 percent of the power for the data center will come from these sources.

image thumb5 Biggest Private Solar Installation In The US Powers Apple’s Cloud (Photos, Video)

Apple has turned on the first halves of both its massive solar panel farm and adjacent fuel cell farm, and is using the systems to provide power for its $1 billion, 500,000 square-foot data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The clean power projects are some of the largest non-utility owned systems in the world, and they’re part of Apple’s plan to use 100 percent clean power for its data centers. Apple revealed the information in a new environmental report on Thursday.

 

image thumb6 Biggest Private Solar Installation In The US Powers Apple’s Cloud (Photos, Video)

 

image thumb7 Biggest Private Solar Installation In The US Powers Apple’s Cloud (Photos, Video)

The iPhone maker announced on Friday that fully 75 percent of its corporate facilities and data centers are powered by energy from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power. That’s because Apple has built the nation’s largest privately owned solar array for its Maiden, N.C., data center.

“In 2012, we completed construction on the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array on land surrounding the data center,” the company disclosed on Friday, announcing plans to shoot for 100 percent renewable power sources.  The 100-acre, 20-megawatt facility can produce 42 million kWh of renewable energy each year, Apple said.

“And we’re currently building a second 20-MW solar photovoltaic facility on nearby land that should be operational in late 2013.”

Apple also operates a 10-MW fuel cell installation at Maiden, which uses biogas to create 83 million kWh of energy — it’s the largest such facility not operated by a power company in the country, the company claimed.

Greenpeace International senior IT analyst Gary Cook applauded the company for how far it has come, while also noting the challenges still ahead.

“Apple’s announcement shows that it has made real progress in its commitment to lead the way to a clean energy future,” Cook said.

“Apple still has major roadblocks to meeting its 100 percent clean energy commitment in North Carolina, where renewable energy policies are under siege and electric utility Duke Energy is intent on blocking wind and solar energy from entering the grid,” he added.

Apple said its goal was not just for North Carolina but for facilities across the country and around the world.

“We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple,” the company said.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>