Apple Builds Solar Farm to Power New Reno Data Center

apple solar farm

Apple has partnered with NV Energy Inc to operate a solar farm for its latest data center being built in Reno, Nevada. This new solar farm will generate over 20 megawatts of clean sun power that will be routed into Sierra Pacific Power Co’s regional electrical grid. The new 137 acre solar farm is being built by solar panel manufacturer SunPower and will be operational by the time Apple’s facility goes on line in the next eight months.

Over the past two years Apple has been on an aggressive data center expansion spree as it moves more of it’s popular iCloud, iTunes, App Store services to the cloud.  These data centers house thousands of power hungry servers and Apple has been working hard to reduce its carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources to power its facilities.

Apple began pursuing its clean energy agenda last year with its Maiden, North Carolina data center and made the move to convert all of its data centers to renewable energy sources earlier this year.

Apple, says that its goal is to power every one of its facilities from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. In addition to achieving 100 percent renewable energy at its data centers, Apple has also reached that goal at its facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, Munich, and at its main campus in Cupertino, California.

In 2010, the Cupertino-based company had only 35 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources, a number that had increased to 75 percent in 2012. As Apple points out, that is a 114 percent increase in the usage of renewable energy at its worldwide corporate facilities.

Apple also details some of its more energy friendly sites on the webpage, such as its data center in Maiden, North Carolina, which uses an onsite solar photovoltaic array to produce 42 million kWh of clean, low carbon energy, alongside a 10-MW fuel cell installation that uses biogas to provide 83 million kWh of energy.

According to Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, Apple will continue to invest in green technologies in the future.

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