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Apple Partners With SunPower Corporation to Build Two Solar Power Plants in China

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Environmentally conscious solar panel manufacturer SunPower Corporation today announced a partnership with Apple that will result in two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts in the "environmentally-preserved" ABA Region of China's Sichuan Province.

Currently under construction, the projects will be split across two sites both eventually totaling 20 megawatts each. The first site, located in Hongyuan, is already generating 2 megawatts of power thanks to technology that includes single-axis tracking with rows of parabolic mirrors that reflect light onto SunPower's "Maxeon" cells, "which are the world's most efficient commercially available mass-produced solar cells." The second project is located in Ruoergai County.

As the first solar powered projects deployed in the ABA Region, the combined sites are expected to churn out up to 80 million kilowatt-hours each year. Upon completion, each project will be co-owned by Apple and Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd, SunPower's project development joint venture. Work on both sites is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Speaking with The Associated Press, Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for environmental initiatives, discussed the new China-focused solar power project, suggesting the company's partnership with SunPower in the region is only the start of a bigger environmentally-focused push by Apple.
"It's important to us to tackle climate change everywhere we are," Jackson told The Associated Press. "When you talk about China, you're talking about manufacturing partners. We're looking to bring the same innovation there. This is the start."

"Before we go somewhere else and start asking and eventually requiring clean energy, you want to make sure you show folks how to do it," said Jackson, who was U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator during President Barack Obama's first term.
Apple and SunPower have collaborated stateside in the past, with six plants ranging from California to Nevada and North Carolina. Today's announcements mark the first international solar power partnership between Apple and SunPower.

Article Link: Apple Partners With SunPower Corporation to Build Two Solar Power Plants in China
 

Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
Okay. Someone tell me why they haven't pushed for Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor MSR tech if they're actually serious about "Green".....
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,063
4,999
Okay. Someone tell me why they haven't pushed for Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor MSR tech if they're actually serious about "Green".....

What can go wrong with solar power? What are the guaranteed negative by-products?

Answer the same about nuclear power.

I suspect that Apple went through that and decided they would rather solar power.

I support nuclear power, but I understand why reasonable people could choose other power sources.
 
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ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2011
447
227
Okay. Someone tell me why they haven't pushed for Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor MSR tech if they're actually serious about "Green".....

Because they aren't pushing for research. They are using a known technology.
 
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kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,606
747
Brunswick, MD
Mine does too ....

But unfortunately, SunPower's inverters seem to still have some firmware issues that cause them to be overly sensitive to shutting off with "arc fault" messages. (Falsely detecting a short in one of the panels or in the wiring between them.)

My system has a bank of panels on my roof and another on my detached garage roof. Each have separate inverters. The larger one servicing the panels on the garage will randomly shut down on me with the "arc fault" error, and requires I press the reset button on it. Then it goes through a whole self test, determines everything's fine, and comes back on. It may go 2-3 weeks without an issue or it may act up every morning for a few days in a row. Really annoying.

As I understand it, SunPower has revised the firmware multiple times now to fix this for customers but they can't seem to really get it quite right.


Cool, my house has SunPower panels.
 
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TallManNY

macrumors 601
Nov 5, 2007
4,372
1,238
"eventually requiring"
That is the key. Apple is saying that at some point all over their counterparties will have to get some or all of the energy from renewable resources. That is going to be a huge hurdle for their manufacturers to meet.
 
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Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
Because they aren't pushing for research. They are using a known technology.

Been proven to work since the 50's.

What can go wrong with solar power? What are the guaranteed negative by-products?

Answer the same about nuclear power.

I suspect that Apple went through that and decided they would rather solar power.

I support nuclear power, but I understand why reasonable people could choose other power sources.


Solar - Really expensive. Low return per $ invested vs the MSR. Really inefficient way to get power. Low scalability, and prohibitively expensive to most people, hence government subsidies.

Molten Salt Reactor - Can't find one.
 
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Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
Proven to work in a commercial setting? I did a quick google search, and do not see any outside of a lab.

if it generated heat, it can boil water, make steam, power generators. That's the easy part, the hard part is figuring out how to make and fuel the reactor. once you figure that out, the rest is pretty straight forward. It make you wonder just how many people are aware of this. This would have been an excellent choice for them, and they certainly have the influence to deal with the bureaucrats who would invariable try to get in the way...
 
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corvustheraven

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2015
16
0
Maryland, USA
I used to live in Sichuan, in Chengdu, and any amount of interest in alternative energy sources in China is a good thing. The amount of pollution over there from cars and factories is astounding.

I remember when the Politburo of the PRC was deciding on their next 10-year plan, which would decide what the government would focus on as the main goal for the next decade. Everybody thought it would be environmental sustainability / clean energy research and conversion, but instead, they chose 'societal stabilization'.

I think China needs to step up and lead the world in the global energy market with solar power, as they are the fastest growing economy in the world right now, and Apple helping them is even more awesome.
 
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ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2011
447
227
if it generated heat, it can boil water, make steam, power generators. That's the easy part, the hard part is figuring out how to make and fuel the reactor. once you figure that out, the rest is pretty straight forward. It make you wonder just how many people are aware of this. This would have been an excellent choice for them, and they certainly have the influence to deal with the bureaucrats who would invariable try to get in the way...

Or, once again being a business looking for commercial applications, they could avoid all "ifs" and the unknown regulatory hurdles you mentioned by going with solar. And that is exactly what they did. This is what I meant by them not being in the research game.
 
Comment

Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
709
1,661
Or, once again being a business looking for commercial applications, they could avoid all "ifs" and the unknown regulatory hurdles you mentioned by going with solar. And that is exactly what they did. This is what I meant by them not being in the research game.

Sure, but what I'm saying is that if they really care about the environment, and practically scaling cheap, clean energy, they would endorse this technology and help push it through the regulatory environment. But they're not because they don't care about clean energy, they care about political image. It's a shame.
 
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