A recent environmental report released by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reveals further details of a solar array being built directly adjacent to the new data center near Maiden, North Carolina, first publicized in 2010. Fuel cells are likely to come from either FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) or Bloom Energy. Possible solar suppliers may include First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) or SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR).
Neither the data center nor the solar array have a completion date set, but it has been determined that the solar array will be the largest of its kind in the nation. Also in the works for Apple: a biogas/fuel cell facility.
While the tech giant gets flack for its less than eco-friendly packaging and device building, as well as its manufacturing policies abroad, it’s nice to see Apple taking a step in the green direction toward energy efficiency.
The solar array will cover 100 acres and produce 20 megawatts per year, roughly a fifth of the energy the data center uses each year. The fuel cell installation will be 5 megawatts.
The data center has been estimated to need as much as 100 megawatts, but the difference will be made up by the coal plants powering much of the state.
There are great benefits to locating data centers domestically, and investing in green power. Most large companies are doing so, while almost none are choosing to manufacture goods locally. Currently, even major investments like this one are nothing compared to the costs and scale of energy consumption and manufacturing power required elsewhere, but it’s nice to see records, and examples, being set this way by Apple.
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