Apple announces Nevada solar array in its 2012 Environmental Footprint Report

Solar farm

A filing Monday by NV Energy with the Public Utilities Commission revealed that Apple will pay for construction of an 18-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant to power its northern Nevada data centre. The company has now officially announced the facility in its 2012 Environmental Footprint Report, writing it will be “every bit” as environmentally responsible as its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The Fort Churchill Solar Array, as it is called, could create hundreds of jobs during the construction period…

Page nine of Apple’s 2012 Environmental Footprint Report describes the Reno, Nevada, data center:

Our next data center, to be located in Reno, Nevada, will also be every bit as environmentally responsible as our Maiden data center.

We will be making use of the excellent natural solar radiation and geothermal resources in Nevada to completely meet the energy needs of our data center.

When completed, the 137 acre Fort Churchill Solar Array, to be built in Yerington just east of Reno, will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, “equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year,” Apple said in a statement Monday to GigaOM.

The project could create hundreds of jobs in Lyon County, Governer Brian Sandoval said in a statement. PV Magazine reveals that the technology giant partnered with SunPower to develop the Nevada solar array.

Apple described working with Nevada utility NV Energy as a first-of-its-kind partnership and said it will also provide clean energy to the local power grid.

The company announced a data center in the region a year ago and confirmed building a second site at Maiden, also rated at another 20 million kilowatt hours.

That facility will draw up to 60 percent of  power from a solar array, with the remaining 40 percent of energy needs met by acquiring clean, renewable energy directly from local and regional sources.