Apple set to build solar panel farm for Reno data center

By , Jul 2, 2013

Solar farm

According to a new report, Apple is looking to team up with the Nevada utility company NV Energy to build a solar panel farm next to its Reno data center. The farm will span 137 acres and, like the company’s two North Carolina arrays, the Reno one is expected to provide somewhere between 18 and 20 megawatts of power…

GigaOM has the statement from Apple:

“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.”

The site goes on to say that Apple’s solar farm plans were approved on June 12 by the Nevada state utility commission. The terms include the option to expand the farm in the future, if need be, and Apple says that because the project may take a while, it will use geothermal power in the meantime to ensure 100% clean energy.

Apple was, for a long time, criticized by Greenpeace and other environmental organizations for not doing enough to reduce its carbon footprint. But the company has come a long way since then, announcing earlier this year that its data centers run on 100% renewable energy, and its corporate buildings run on about 75%.

In May, Tim Cook confirmed that Apple had recently hired Lisa P. Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to oversee its various green initiatives.

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  • Sir.Rhommi

    Good To Hear

  • Robert A. Petersen

    As someone who lives in Reno, this is excellent news!

    • Hyr3m

      It’s indeed better to live where the panels are installed than where they are built or where their materials are processed…

  • Kurt

    Good job Apple!

  • 3aloo1

    Megawatts! hell yeah
    good job apple

    • Kurt

      they should aim for 1.21 Gigawatts and get a cool aluminum car too

  • http://www.blackberry.com/ Bobby McBobson

    That’s a really smart idea!

  • Hyr3m

    - Edited out -

  • Justin Thurmond

    I understand your point – dont be ignorant about the waste that is still created in the production or transportation of Solar Panels – but NO MATTER how much hazardous waste solar panels in production, it is still a MINUSCULE amount by comparison to CNG or Fossil Fuel Production – If panels are even 30% cleaner overall to make, implement, and use ITS STILL AN IMPROVEMENT!

    • Hyr3m

      My point is more in the likes of :

      -Stop pretending solar energy is 100% clean.

      -Stop pretending Apple’s data centers are 100% clean energy-wise.

      -Stop using fake/devastating solutions to a problem and boast about it when you’re part of the problem and you’re not doing anything actually useful to solve it.

      -Stop writing “articles” (blog posts) parroting factually wrong information without putting at least a single grain of salt in there…”

      Solar panels are not 30% cleaner… When you look as the pollution linked to the extracting and “recycling” of the main materials and combine that with the pathetic amount of energy generated per panel and their life-span… It takes about 3 months for a solar panel to product the energy used to transport them from a state to the next… Consider where their materials come from, where they’re then assembled and finally where they end up. -> The only way these solar panels are really worth it is through their marketing aspect : “Green” publicity stunt from the giant expert in planned obsolescence.
      And Cody is just playing his part gracelessly; relaying the misinformation in such a way that the vast majority of the comments are positive.

      It’s not an improvement; it’s a way for them to make you accept all the wrong things they’re doing. I agree they could have done much worse though…

      • 3aloo1

        Bla Bla Bla ……

      • Hyr3m

        So mis/disinformation gets praises and the truth gets a “bla bla bla”. Thank you Mr. Doosh for teaching me this lesson.

      • Justin Thurmond

        Actually owning a set of solar panels isnt too unaffordable, roughly 12-14g. With a loan you can pay them off before even reaching 1/4 life span. Im just trying to be helpful and point out what ive learned from the data, i dont wish to argue. I wish we had solar cell power plants out here like in Masdar city. I cant help but tell you what you are saying was at one point true, but you’re also using 3 year old industry standards and facts as your point, just update from “research over the years” to research today! The solar panel production and results from those cells has improved more than 400% in the past 3 years and will only continue to get better. Hopefully someday we will all be able to afford nasa quality solar panels!

      • Hyr3m

        It can be profitable in many ways… just like running a nuclear power plant is. Still, pollution linked to solar cells production outweighs any benefits; The rare-earth materials used in the making of these solar cells are a finite resource and just like with oil we’ll eventually run out of them. We wont run out of them before we pollute entire areas though. It’s not much better than what happened in Chernobyl when you look at it this way.

        The problem is that people (and the energy industry) only look at profitability and create myths through effective marketing in order to bank on this profitability regardless of the actual impact on the environment.

      • Justin Thurmond

        Research the different forms of energy extraction, creation, usage and polution and youll find that the 15 yr lifespan solar cells produce terific energy reduce monthly cost of living and make it possible to love off the grid while providing surplus. Other alternatives exist that utilize natural gas which is also extremely clean. But the true problem exists with the vehicles we drive everyday more than anything as well as international airports. Countries of industry that have high sunlight exposure can benefit the most from sunlight farming, 2% of the earth land surface (roughly the size of colorado) covered in panels could power the earth, and thats not a sales pitch.. Just facts

  • aaa

    You see, the problem with your argument is that you are using other forms of media that could be just as wrong as the one you are arguing against. Unless you see and experience the truth, you can’t be sure what the media is feeding you is true.

    • Hyr3m

      Feel free to do your own research. My research was not just done in the few minutes it took me to find the articles I linked. I am simply stating facts and pointing out 2 of the millions of places where you can find this information.

      I’m all for clean energy and sustainability and protecting animals and acting respectfully towards one another. The thing is corporations and governments are trying to get away with fooling people into thinking that what they’re doing is “clean” and “green” when the positiveness is just propaganda. The “majority” of people gets a clean conscience while corporations fill up their pockets with sh*tloads of money while the minority actually living next to the production facilities gets f*cked.