Apple’s Main Data Center Will Use Only Green Power by 2013

Apple Inc. has received approval to build two solar power installations at its main data center in North Carolina, allowing the technology giant to run the center entirely with renewable energy by next year. The two solar farms, which will cover 250 acres near its core data center in Maiden, N.C., will utilize high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar-tracking system provided by SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy. The solar arrays will generate 84 million kWh of electricity per year. Apple, which produces the popular iPhone and iPad, says that all three of its main data centers ultimately will be powered by coal-free electricity. “I’m not aware of any other company producing energy onsite at this scale,” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters. The company is also developing a 5-megawatt fuel cell facility on the Maiden site. A recent Greenpeace report cited Apple, whose data centers require an ever-expanding amount of power, for lagging behind in efforts to use clean energy.