Apple Planning Solar Farm in Reno, Gets the Thumbs Up From Greenpeace


Apple is planning to build a solar farm next to its planned Reno, Nevada data center. The solar farm will eventually power the data center as well as provide power to the nearby community. Information on the project is rolling out slowly; including some recently taken aerial photos.

This continues Apple’s commitment to using 100 percent renewable energy in its data centers. The company already has a huge solar array in North Carolina, as well as uses biogas from nearby landfills.The Nevada complex will reportedly generate between 18 and 20 megawatts of power, similar to North Carolina, but using a different kind of technology.

The 137 acre solar array in Nevada will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy for Sierra Pacific’s power grid, which provides power to Apple’s data center, upon completion.

The new facility might support more than 1,000 jobs both directly and indirectly in and around Washoe County. The project is expected to result in a total of $24.1 million in direct and indirect revenues in Nevada over a ten year period, according to a survey by Applied Economics for the state of Nevada.

Greenpeace has some positive words for Apple regarding its latest investment in solar energy in Nevada. Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook issued the following statements:

“Apple’s latest investment in solar energy in Nevada shows that the company is making good on its promise to power its iCloud with 100 percent renewable energy. The detailed disclosure that Apple gave today can give confidence to Apple’s millions of users that the company is powering its corner of the Internet with clean energy.”

“With Google, Facebook, and now Apple all announcing major new deals in recent months for new renewable energy to power their data center operations, the race to build an internet powered by renewable  energy is clearly in full swing.  Tech companies are showing they have the ability to use their influence and buying power with utilities to change their supply of electricity away from coal and toward renewable energy.”

Greenpeace also called out others to look towards Apple’s efforts as inspiration. “Microsoft and Amazon – both of which still power their Internet using the dirty electricity that causes global warming – ought to take notice. In the race for a clean Internet, Apple is leaving both of those companies in the dust.”

Greenpeace will release an update to its “How Clean Is Your Cloud?” analysis ranking IT companies for their energy choices later this year.


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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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