Apple Powering NC Data Center with 100% Renewable Energy, Doubling Size of Solar Array
Apple is taking great strides to disprove Greenpeace's accusations that its large Maiden, NC data center will be powered mostly by coal. Yesterday the company posted a new page to its website outlining the use of renewable energy at its data centers, revealing some exciting information.
The company had already announced plans to build a 20 MW solar array installation and a 5 MW fuel cell installation at the NC data center, which will be the largest private solar array and the largest non-utility fuel cell project in the country. Those projects are expected to provide 60 percent of the data center's electricity needs. The big news is that Apple is now doubling the on-site solar power capacity by building a second 20 MW array with the total solar power generation to now hit 84 million kWh per year.
Reuters reports that SunPower Corp will be the installer for the high-efficiency arrays that will include an advanced solar tracking system.
The remaining energy needs of the data center not met by the on-site sources will be met through purchasing renewable power from local and regional sources. The company says the data center will be coal-power-free by the end of the year and it won't be the only of its data centers to do so. The company's future data center in Prineville, Oregon will only use power from local, renewable sources and its data center in Austin, TX runs fully on purchased renewable power.
The company just received regulatory approval to purchase renewable energy for its Newark, CA data center and it is locating direct-access clean energy to fully power that facility by February 2013.
The fact that Apple is meeting all of its data center energy needs with renewables is super exciting, but it's also great to see the company revealing all of this information and fully disclosing its plans. To that end, the company is giving us a peak into its NC data center's renewable energy projects by registering all of its on-site power generation with the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (NC-RETS) established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.