Apple Will Build Two Solar Systems Instead of Only One

Apple has unveiled its plans to build two solar array installations near its North Carolina iCloud data centre. Previously the tech giant said it would build only one solar farm.

Photo: Apple store in Munich, from, Michaela Rehle/Files

The systems that will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system produced by SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy will supply 84 million kWh of energy annually, says Reuters.

The two solar farms will cover 250 acres, among the largest in the industry. The World’s Most Admired Company plans on using coal-free electricity in all three of its data centers, with the Maiden facility coal-free by the end of 2012.

«I’m not aware of any other company producing energy onsite at this scale,» Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters in a telephone interview.

«The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data center in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.»

Oppenheimer added that Apple’s next data centre, in Prineville, Oregon would be 100% powered from renewable sources.

Apple said it would also build a biogas fuel cell installation—a 5-megawatt facility, located directly adjacent to the data center. «It will be powered by 100 percent biogas, and provide more than 40 million kWh of 24×7 baseload renewable energy annually,» explained Apple’s 2012 Facilities Report.