Apple Plans to Expand Massive Data Center in North Carolina

Source: Apple.comApple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning on adding another structure to its already massive data center in Maiden, North Carolina, reports the HickoryRecord via CultofMac. According to an erosion permit filed with Catawba County and seen by the HickoryRecord, Apple is planning on building another data center facility near the 500,000-square-foot primary structure on the campus. Apple’s data centers provide storage for the Cupertino-based company’s iTunes Store, App Store, and iCloud services.

According to the plans outlined in the erosion permit, the new structure will have an area of 14,246 square feet and will be approximately twenty-five feet tall. It will be constructed from precast concrete wall panels and steel columns. The main section of the building will hold banks of computers that will be cooled by eleven air conditioning units. The structure will also include an office, a break room, a business area, a storage area, and a unisex toilet. Two additional air conditioning units will be dedicated for the occupied areas of the building. The plans also outlined “man-trap” style security doors that require the first door to be closed before the second door will open.

As noted by the HickoryRecord, the new building plans are quite similar to the “tactical data center” that Apple built in 2012. The tactical data center that was built two years ago is 21,030 square feet and was constructed behind the main data center building. The new structure will also sit behind the main building. Although it is unknown how much the new building will cost, Apple spent $1.8 million on the last addition.

Apple’s massive data center in Maiden, North Carolina, set a new standard for renewable energy use on a large scale.  According to Apple’s website, the data center is powered by a 100-acre, 20-megawatt onsite solar photovoltaic array, as well as a second 20-megawatt solar farm on nearby land. Apple has also built a 10-megawatt fuel cell installation that runs on biogas. As noted by Apple, the solar photovoltaic array is the largest end-user-owned installation in the country. Similarly, the fuel cell installation is the largest in the nation not owned by a utility.

The iPhone maker’s pioneering efforts to create its own clean energy sources have helped the company get closer to its stated goal of 100 percent renewable energy usage at every Apple facility. According to Apple, the company has already achieved this goal for its data centers and is currently at 75 percent renewable energy use at its corporate facilities worldwide.

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