Apple Expands its Green Energy Sources
Apple will shortly be vastly increasing its solar power capacity for its North Carolina data center to supply power to its server racks using green energy sources. The company will purchase an additional 100 acres to contain the new solar panels. Apple believes that it can obtain 60 percent of the energy needed to operate the data center from green sources located on the site of the data center.
“That’s a scale of onsite renewable energy production that no other company has matched,” said Apple “On-site energy generation minimizes our dependence on the grid and reduces our environmental impact. And when our solar arrays and fuel cells are operating, Apple’s Maiden data center will be the most environmentally sound data center ever built.”
According to Apple, power production facilities located at the Maiden, N.C. data center is expected to make about 124 million kWh, which is the same amount required to provide energy to 10,874 houses. To do this, Apple will utilize a total of 200 acres of solar panels. This should be adequate to power many of the server units housed in the many computer shelves in the data center. As a supplement to its solar power, Apple will create power using biogas from a local landfill to generate electricity using fuel cells from Bloom Energy. The energy obtained from biogas will amount to about 40 million kWh per year. In total, the energy from the two solar farms and from biogas will provide 60 percent of the total energy needed for the data center.
“We’ll meet the remaining 40 percent of our energy needs by directly purchasing clean, renewable energy generated by local and regional sources,” said Apple. Greenpeace International disclosed its support for Apple’s initiative. The measure has been heralded as a great improvement in Apple’s energy sourcing. Greenpeace has shown a high level concern over Apple’s energy policy in the past.