Apple’s new data centre to run on 100% renewable energy

Posted at May 22, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Apple’s new data centre to run on 100% renewable energy

Computer giant Apple, which has come in for criticism from environmental group Greenpeace over its environmental credentials, is to power its new data centre entirely with renewable energy.

Earlier this year, Apple announced plans for a 20 MW solar array at its new Maiden data centre in North Carolina, along with a host of other efficiency measures that have garnered the development platinum LEED certification.

Now, according to reports, Apple plans to build two solar installations in and around the Maiden site and run the data centre entirely with renewable energy.

The developments will use high-efficiency solar cells and solar tracking system from US manufacturer SunPower Corporation to produce 84 million kWh of power a year, as well as a 5 MW Bloom Energy biogas-powered fuel cell development.

Apple says that it plans to have the Maiden facility running off coal-free electricity by the end of the year, followed by its other two data centres.

The company says it will also identify nearby renewables resources to power its new facility planned for Prineville in Oregon.

Greenpeace has praised the decision as a sign that Apple is taking seriously the concerns of hundreds of thousands of its customers, which want to see the company’s new iCloud offering powered by clean energy.

Meanwhile, chipmaker Intel has set itself new ambitious sustainability targets, including reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions 10% per chip and water use to below 2010 levels.

But although its latest corporate responsibility report indicates that Intel has reduced its carbon footprint by over 60% from 2007 and is producing more energy-efficient products, it is using more water and producing more chemical waste.

And a little ahead of Apple, Intel is already using renewable sources like biomass, geothermal, small-hydro, solar and wind to cover 88% of its US electricity.

Intel has also investing $58 million in energy efficiency projects over the last ten years, saving some $11 million in energy costs.

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Related stories:
Intel tops list of US renewables-powered organisations (24-Apr)
Apple aims to become greener with 20 MW solar array (22-Feb)
Google tops Greenpeace ‘Cool IT’ list (9-Feb)

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