Apple Data Center Powered 100% By Renewable Energy

Apple announced its data centers now run entirely on renewable energy, including its $1 billion facility in Maiden, NC, according to an environmental progress report released by the company.

The tech company’s facilities in Austin, Texas; Cork, Ireland; Munich, Germany; and its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, Calif., have reached the 100 percent renewable energy goal, according to the environmental progress report.

Apple said it’s on track to power every one of its facilities with energy from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal. Apple’s corporate facilities are powered with 75 percent renewable energy, a 114 percent increase since 2010.

Apple is building new energy-efficient buildings and updating existing structures to reach its goal, according to the report. The company also is installing its own on-site  renewable energy sources, including solar arrays and fuel cells. Apple said it will establish long-term contracts with energy suppliers to provide the balance of its renewable power needs.

Apple completed several renewable energy projects last year, including a biogas-powered fuel cell and rooftop solar photovoltaic systems at its Cupertino headquarters. The company’s headquarters also cut energy use 30 percent in 2012 from the previous year, while occupancy grew by more than 12 percent over the same time period.

Apple also completed construction and began operation of the largest end-user solar array and large non-utility fuel cell system in the US at its 500,000-sq-foot data center in Maiden, NC. Apple installed solar panels from California-based SunPower on a 100-acre site located across the street from the data center as well as on another area of land a few miles away. California-based Bloom Energy is the fuel cell provider.

Apple also launched greener products in 2012, including the redesigned iMac, which uses 68 percent less material and generates 67 percent fewer carbon emissions than earlier generations. In addition, the aluminum stand on the iMac is made using 30 percent recycled content.

The company also introduced its redesigned AirPort Express with an enclosure containing bio-based polymers derived from industrial-grade rapeseed and post consumer recycled PC-ABS plastic.

Earlier this year, Apple announced plans to develop a wind turbine that generates electricity from stored wind energy. Apple tech has filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office that proposes electricity generation from converting heat energy rather than rotational energy created by the rotation of the turbine’s blades.

Photo: Solar array at Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina data center

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