Solar energy has been rapidly embraced by the technology world, thanks to the renewable energy initiative RE100 that helps companies and municipalities reach 100% renewable energy goal. Along with companies like Google and Facebook, Apple has emerged over recent years as one of the leaders among large-scale data center operators in terms of the amount of investment and effort put into adding renewable energy generation onto the portions of the electrical grid that supply its data centers.
In 2015, Apple announced it was investing $848 million in a solar farm to power its California operations, including its new Cupertino campus, along with retail stores and a data center in Fremont. The deal pushed Apple past Walmart as the largest corporate user of solar power. The 2015 solar project represented 130MW of solar power through a 25-year purchasing agreement from the California Flats Solar Project. Apple also announced that all of its U.S. facilities -- and 93% of its operations worldwide -- were powered by renewable energy. In Singapore, for example, the company is powering its manufacturing facilities with 32MW of solar panels that are located atop more than 800 rooftops. In China, the company is adding 170MW of solar power to supplement power used to manufacture iPhones and other products there.
In early 2017, Apple unveiled a collaboration plan with Nevada Energy (NV Energy) to build out 200MW of photovoltaic solar capacity to power its data center in Reno, Nevada. The solar farm is Apple's largest solar project, big enough to compensate for energy consumption of its offices in Singapore and its footprint in the data center and is expected to be live by early 2019. Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives, stated in a news release. "Our partnership with NV Energy helps assure our customers their iMessages, FaceTime video chats and Siri inquiries are powered by clean energy, and supports efforts to offer the choice of green energy to Nevada residents and businesses." Apple says its investments in renewables amount to 4 gigawatts total worldwide, which will prevent the emissions of 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2020, or the equivalent of removing 6 million cars from roads each year.
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Sources: www.datacenterknowledge.com , www.computerworld.com