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Apple Buys Hydro Plant

appleApple has purchased a hydro electric plant near its Prineville, Ore., data center, reports The Oregonian.

The small plant is located near Haystack Reservoir in Jefferson County about 20 miles from Prineville. The price Apple paid for the plant is unknown, but EBD Hydro – the facilities previous owner – secured $8.5 million in federal loans and grants to finance it, the paper reports.

Proposals published prior to the plant’s construction described the plant as generating 3-5 MW, the paper reports.

Apple plans to power its data centers entirely by renewable energy. The 338,000-sq-foot Prineville facility began construction in 2012 and is nearing completion. In January, Apple added a solar array on 200 acres of land adjacent to the facility.

Prineville is also home to a major Facebook data center. That facility achieved a water usage effectiveness rating of 0.22 liters per kWh for the 12 months to the second quarter of 2012, a result the social networking giant calls “a strong level of efficiency.”

Facebook’s Prineville center uses 100 percent outside air economization coupled with a direct evaporation cooling and humidification misting system. Typical data centers do not use outside air economization, relying instead on the recirculation of up to 100 percent of the air used to cool their server room with cooling towers and a central chilled water plant, according to Facebook.

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