Apple, working with Nevada utility NV Energy, is planning to build another solar panel farm next to a data center, and this time it’s for its new data center in Reno, Nevada. Apple has already been building two solar panel farms next to its data center in North Carolina, and this latest solar farm in Reno, called the “Ft. Churchill Solar Array,” shows Apple’s growing commitment to clean power at its new facilities.
|Solar Panel Farm in North Carolina|
Apple’s solar farm in Reno will be able to provide between 18 to 20 MW worth of power, which is about the same size as its two solar plants in North Carolina, which are both 20 MW in size. For an independent company (not a utility) — particular an internet company — 18 to 20 MW is a very large solar system.
|Fuel Cells in North Carolina|
All of Apple’s data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels. This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137 acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira said in a statement:
We’re excited to be in partnership with Apple on a new solar energy project, the first project under our new Green Energy Program. This program allows customers such as Apple to choose to have a greater proportion of their energy coming from renewables than the law requires, without having a cost impact on our other customers. Apple is looking to eventually use 100 percent clean power for its data centers through a combination of direct clean power generation, buying renewable energy credits and buying clean power from providers.
(Wash Post, 7/2/2013)