Apple to Build Solar Panel Farm for Reno Data Center

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,662
10,081



Apple is planning to work with Nevada utility company NV Energy to build a solar panel farm next to its Reno data center, reports GigaOM. Like the company's two other solar farms located in North Carolina, the Reno solar farm will provide between 18 and 20 MW of power and will be built by solar company SunPower.

The Reno site will incorporate the SunPower Oasis C7 system, which includes a set of parabolic mirrors to reflect sunlight onto solar cell receivers, "concentrating the sun's energy by 7 times."

An Early Image of Apple's Reno Data Center
Apple's solar farm plans were approved on June 12 by the Nevada state utility commission, and under the terms, Apple has the option to expand the solar farm in the future. While the farm is under construction, Apple will use local geothermal power to run its Reno data center, continuing its commitment to clean energy.
All of Apple's data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels. This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137 acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.
Apple first announced that all of its data centers run on 100% renewable energy back in March, with its corporate facilities running on 75% clean energy. According to Apple's environmental policy pages, the company has decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 21.5 percent since 2008 and estimated itself to be responsible for 30.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.

Article Link: Apple to Build Solar Panel Farm for Reno Data Center
 

MacDav

macrumors 65816
Mar 24, 2004
1,031
0
I thought server farms work best in cool climates.
They work best in highly air conditioned buildings. Yes it's easier to keep buildings cool in cool climates. However, since the big air conditioners will be powered by solar it's cool. :) I'm sure they got a great deal partnering with Reno NV. energy also.
 

york2600

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
242
206
Portland, OR
I thought server farms work best in cool climates.
A cool climate is ideal, but when you plan a datacenter there's other concerns that are often more important.

Connectivity: There's a lot of network providers for Apple to peer with in NV. I had equipment in Switch in Vegas and they peered with about two dozen different providers giving you low latency connectivity to a large populous.

Power: The cost of power is huge in a datacenter. If you're generating it yourself this obviously isn't as important, but most datacenters are not self powered (especially not at night). This is why you pay more for EC2 systems in California vs. Virginia or Oregon in Amazon

Taxing: I'm sure Apple is paying no property taxes here, but they also need a location that has no sales tax and doesn't include the cost of the servers in the property tax structure. That was a key point in locating in Oregon for Google/, Apple, and Facebook.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
.....According to Apple's environmental policy pages, the company has decreased its greenhouse gas emissions by 21.5 percent since 2008 and estimated itself to be responsible for 30.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012.
Hard to grasp how they can even approximate these 'estimates' with any degree of reality. These are indeed estimates, at best.

.....Apple's solar farm plans were approved on June 12 by the Nevada state utility commission, and under the terms, Apple has the option to expand the solar farm in the future. While the farm is under construction, Apple will use local geothermal power to run its Reno data center, continuing its commitment to clean energy.....This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy.

Article Link: Apple to Build Solar Panel Farm for Reno Data Center
Using their acquired knowledge now for broader community applications? Of course, it's not as altruistic as it sounds, but still, it's hard to find fault with the overall concept. Building solar capacity in a sunny state like Nevada, and with the pre-approved option of future expansion, as well as being geared towards future growth, is a sound move by APPLE, and to be applauded. Their energy needs for the foreseeable future are guaranteed, while being able to sell current overcapacity to Nevada's NV Energy. It's a foregone conclusion that APPLE will be generating lots more energy during the day than they'll be drawing from the grid at night. At the rate cities like Vegas are growing, NV Energy could use all the extra capacity they can get.
 

appleisking

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2013
658
2,382
Awesome. Now if we just plant 10,000,000 of these, we'll solve the world's energy needs :cool:

----------

Hard to grasp how they can even approximate these 'estimates' with any degree of reality. These are indeed estimates, at best.

Actually it's really not that tough, obviously they are estimates but they are very close ones at that. Combustion of certain hydrocarbons releases these greenhouse gases, so what you need to know is an approximate usage of whatever they're using by weight (oil prob for plastic and other materials and some other stuff), and they'll know how much they are emitting by weight of carbon and other greenhouse gases based on combustion formulas.
 

Ralf The Dog

macrumors regular
May 1, 2008
192
0
lol fusion is actually 100% safe. It's fission that leads to nuclear disasters like chernobyl and Japan.
Until they rip a hole in space and it eats the planet.

********

Now all Apple needs is a 500 foot coat hanger and the worlds largest Marshmallow.
 

Solomani

macrumors 68040
Sep 25, 2012
3,904
7,493
Alberto, Canado
Maybe Apple is building a secret nuclear enrichment facility. It would make Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility look like child's play.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
lol fusion is actually 100% safe. It's fission that leads to nuclear disasters like chernobyl and Japan.
I am aware of the non-polluting qualities of nuclear fusion. I was referring to the uncharted territories that the Large Hadron Collider is 'wading' into. There is that great unknown factor that even respected nuclear physicists have expressed reservations about, when particle accelerators start smashing atoms into each other.

One consolation, our demise will be superfast!
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,625
4,627
The Peninsula
I am aware of the non-polluting qualities of nuclear fusion. I was referring to the uncharted territories that the Large Hadron Collider is 'wading' into. There is that great unknown factor that even respected nuclear physicists have expressed reservations about, when particle accelerators start smashing atoms into each other.

One consolation, our demise will be superfast!
The LHC does not smash atoms.

As the name might suggest, it smashes hadrons.

Fail.

(And, it's a large collider that smashes hadrons, not a collider that smashes large hadrons. Although that point is not so clear for Alice.)
 

phoenixsan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2012
1,342
2
I am truly glad and.....

praise Apple for all the efforts to use clean energy. And for developing an enviromental conscience. Not being so cynic to talk about Greenpace....


:):apple:
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
The LHC does not smash atoms. As the name might suggest, it smashes hadrons. Fail.

(And, it's a large collider that smashes hadrons, not a collider that smashes large hadrons. Although that point is not so clear for Alice.)
"The term hadron refers to composite particles composed of quarks held together by the strong force (as atoms and molecules are held together by the electromagnetic force). The best-known hadrons are protons and neutrons; hadrons also include mesons such as the pion and kaon, which were discovered during cosmic ray experiments in the late 1940s and early 1950s." Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider

Wow, picky, picky, about terminology. It smashes hadrons, which are sub-atomic particles. Even though I'm not a nuclear physicist, I suspect you got the gist of my post, but were just in the mood to pick an argument. Fine.

Not sure what your last point is about, but the collider at CERN is officially refered to as the "Large Hadron Collider". I wasn't implying it smashes large hadrons.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.