Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apple’s data centers are 100 percent powered by energy from renewable sources — solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal.

Apple’s data centers are 100 percent powered by energy from renewable sources — solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. And so are many of our corporate facilities. The ultimate goal is to power all Apple facilities entirely by renewable energy, Said Apple on its website

The first glimpse of Apple Inc.'s proposed 18-MW
photovoltaic solar array in Northern Nevada
(Credit : Reno Gazette - Journal)

Apple's Energy Management is based on a three-tiered strategy with the primary focus to achieve a net zero energy policy. In other words, to use 100 percent renewable energy to power its data centers, retail stores, and other facilities worldwide. More complete details can be found in Apple's 2012 Environmental Footprint Report

Apple sites powered by 100%
renewable energy (Source : Apple)
According to GigaOm, Apple - at its huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina - has built the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array, and completed construction on the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country. Apple’s massive solar panel and fuel cell farm are now live and providing clean power for its huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina, which draws its power—totaling some 20 megawatts at full capacity from renewable sources. In addition, it relies on energy-efficient design elements, including a white roof and real-time energy monitoring and analytics. Apple has claimed it purchases 100 percent renewable energy for its other facilities around the world.

Apple has also proposed to build 18-megawatt photovoltaic solar farm that will keep the servers running in its Northern Nevada data center. The details of this were made public on July 1, 2013 and reported by the Reno Gazette - Journal. According to some news reports this 137-acre solar farm (it will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity) will be managed in conjunction with NV Energy, to power the datacenter located right next to it. The farm, called “Ft. Churchill Solar Array,” will be capable of providing between 18 and 20 MW to the data center. NV Energy plans to combine photovoltaics with concentrated solar-power mirrors, meaning the facility will supply energy at night as well as during the day. Solar company SunPower will work on the array's engineering and construction. Once completed, the Solar Array would save fossil fuel equivalent to taking 6,400 vehicles off the road each year.

It is worth mentioning here that NV Energy has agreed to be acquired by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company - a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The acquisition - for as much as $5.6 billion in cash - is due to be finalized in the first three months of 2014.

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