Tech company Apple is releasing more information about its Maiden, N.C., “green” data center, including the most recent statement from the company that the facility will be 100 percent powered by renewable energy by the year’s end.
Previous reports from the company only pegged the data center’s renewable energy reliance at “a high percentage.”
Apple says 40 percent of the Maiden facility’s energy will be sourced from local and regional clean energy producers while the data center will generate the remaining 60 percent of its energy from solar panels and fuel cells located on the premises.
“We’re also partnering with NC GreenPower — an independent, nonprofit organization created by the North Carolina Utilities Commission — to increase local renewable energy production throughout North Carolina,” Apple said on its Renewable Energy website.
This will become the largest project NC GreenPower has been a part of; previous efforts include partnering with a local North Carolina landfill to turn methane gas into electricity.
Two solar panel installations–each 100-acre arrays–will produce 84 million kilowatt-hours of energy for the data center each year. According to the company website, these will be the largest private solar facilities in the country. Apple also has a “bio-gas-powered 5-megawatt fuel cell installation” in the works and claims it will be the largest non-utility fuel cell in operation in the U.S. when it’s completed.
Combining all the clean power generation on the facility will create enough electricity to power over 10,000 homes each year.
While this latest data center is garnering a lot of attention for its green initiatives, Apple is quick to point out that its Austin, Texas operations center has been 100 percent reliant on renewable energy for a decade, and its Sacramento, California; Cork, Ireland; and Munich, Germany facilities also use renewable energy. Even the corporate office in Cupertino, California, relies on renewables for 50 percent of its electricity demands.
Future Apple data centers, like the one planned in Pineville, Oregon, will be “every bit as environmentally responsible” as the Maiden, N.C. facility.
Activist group Greenpeace recently targeted Apple for not being more environmentally conscientious, claiming that the “iCloud” service is “fueled by the smog of dirty coal pollution.”
Apple was quick to respond with data supporting its claims that the new Maiden data center will in fact generate 60 percent of its energy needs on site with renewable sources.