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Apple to Open Massive $850M Solar Farm in Monterey, California

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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During today's Goldman Sachs conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple is planning its "boldest, biggest, most ambitious project," yet in the form of a 1,300 acre solar farm in Monterey County, California.

The solar farm, which puts out enough power for almost 60,000 California homes, will provide enough renewable energy for Apple's new campus, every other office it has in California, all 52 stores in the state, and its data center in Newark, California. The solar farm is an $850 million project, which Cook says Apple is doing "because it's right to do."

Image of Apple's North Carolina solar farm courtesy of Gigaom
We know at Apple that climate change is real and our view is that the time for talk has passed and the time for action is now. We've shown that with what we do.
Though highlighting the solar farm as good for the environment, Tim Cook also pointed towards the fiscal benefit of such a decision, explaining that there's a significant price difference between the fixed price of renewable energy and the price of brown energy. "We're thrilled to continue on the course of leaving the world better than we found it," said Cook.

Apple has already built a series of large solar farms in North Carolina, but at $850m, the Monterey County solar farm will be its most ambitious project yet.

Update: Apple will be partnering with First Solar and contributing $848 million to the First Solar California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California. Apple will be receiving 130 megawatts of the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement, with the remaining 150MW being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric.

Construction on the California Flats Solar Project will begin in mid-2015 and will finish by the end of 2016.

Article Link: Apple to Open Massive $850M Solar Farm in Monterey, California
 

Dekema2

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2012
829
393
WNY or Utica
I hope when they do this they use SolarCity-manufactured panels. They'll be American-made, made in my hometown and would be a win-win for both.

That is if there isn't a rift between Apple and Elon Musk-affiliated companies like rumors suggest...

Edit: No, just read they are partnering with "First Solar..."
 

AnsonX10

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2009
69
69
4/20
If Apple really wanted to be friendly to the environment, they would support their devices for more than a couple generations.
 

JesperA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2012
684
1,052
Sweden
If Apple really wanted to be friendly to the environment, they would support their devices for more than a couple generations.
I have apple products that is 5-6 generations old and works ok, since i switched to apple product my lifespan of my computers and phones have increased greatly, almost never feel the need to buy a new one.
 

Architect4122

macrumors regular
Mar 2, 2007
172
24
Wildfires

Note: I'm not familiar with this exact area -- I'm from TX, but I am currently Seattle based.

What would be virtually an impossible endeavor, though a brilliant one, given the opportunities this amount of financial backing could achieve, is to design this as a wildfire 'break'.

I know there is (I'm assuming) logic in energy conservation due to geometries of the plan (for example, 2x20 parcel of land versus 5x8). However, these solar farms are essentially clearings in the landscape. In the future it would be interesting if these "solar breaks" (shall we call them) acted as a means to prevent the further spread of potential wild fires ... the clearing in the brush!

Again, I'm not familiar at all with the geography ... and I'm only associating CA with an overly general assumption of location and wildfires. In any case, seeing pictures of vast fields of PV panels had me thinking of different geometries that could be used for additional functionality.

This is Apple. Think about the integrated antennas/structure of the iPhone 4. Yes, there were initial issues, but the initial concept of 1+1=3 is refreshing compared to a lot of 1:1 concepts that have the ability to do more!

_MM
 

mgipe

macrumors demi-god
Oct 6, 2009
675
145
CA
Strange. Why foggy Monterey? Why not cheaper, sunnier, Central Valley?
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
Last edited:

sundog925

macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
938
935
Strange. Why foggy Monterey? Why not cheaper, sunnier, Central Valley?

doesn't matter. the UV rays are the ones that provide the solar energy. even if its foggy, the rays still make it through. haven't you ever been burned at the beach when its overcast?
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,042
12,320
Strange. Why foggy Monterey? Why not cheaper, sunnier, Central Valley?

Valley Fever, and not as sunny as one may think. I've seen many a day when Cessna Grand Caravans from FedEx were turned away and back to Fresno or Modesto from trying to land in Visalia.

Perhaps closer towards Kettleman City, Grapevine, or Santa Nella, possibly. But Central Valley does get socked in pretty good. Monterrey would be a good place; less than an hour's drive from Palo Alto/Sunnyvale (depending on if traffic is good down Hwy. 17 or Hwy. 101).

BL.
 

DanielSw

macrumors 6502
Aug 31, 2009
390
195
Clearwater, FL
If Apple really wanted to be friendly to the environment, they would support their devices for more than a couple generations.

Nope. The technology changes too fast for that to be viable. At least they're serious about recyclability.

You're just gonna have to pony up for the new toys.
 

opriagr

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2015
2
0
Right thing to do??

As a lifelong apple user and shareholder, the "right thing" for Apple to do is make the best products on earth and make money doing it. When does this $850M project break even and start to be a smart investment for the shareholders?
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,329
7,415
As a lifelong apple user and shareholder, the "right thing" for Apple to do is make the best products on earth and make money doing it. When does this $850M project break even and start to be a smart investment for the shareholders?

And this is what's wrong with people today...
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
As a lifelong apple user and shareholder, the "right thing" for Apple to do is make the best products on earth and make money doing it. When does this $850M project break even and start to be a smart investment for the shareholders?
It does "pencil", but largely because grid power is costly and lumpy in cost over the day. Also they invest now and lock in a price so it is a futures contract hedging against future carbon price spikes. It is a business decision.

If you want to make solar or wind even less un-viable for end users, pass a law the grid MUST buy your excess power. Even if it is locked in at the overnite rate.
 

soheilk

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2014
70
59
As a lifelong apple user and shareholder, the "right thing" for Apple to do is make the best products on earth and make money doing it. When does this $850M project break even and start to be a smart investment for the shareholders?

When the company gets rid of the shareholders like you...
 

opriagr

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2015
2
0
Great

It does "pencil", but largely because grid power is costly and lumpy in cost over the day. Also they invest now and lock in a price so it is a futures contract hedging against future carbon price spikes. It is a business decision.

If you want to make solar or wind even less un-viable for end users, pass a law the grid MUST buy your excess power. Even if it is locked in at the overnite rate.

That's good to hear, I hope you are right. I wouldn't support a law that mandates that the grid buy excess power. The (federal) government needs to stay out of it altogether.

----------

When the company gets rid of the shareholders like you...

Nice! So that is when it break's even, huh? Interesting. Well, I hate to break it to you but we still have some semblance of a free capatilist market in this country (albeit it's evaporating fast) so the company has no control over who buys, sells, shorts or options it's shares. If it want's that control, it can buy back all it's shares and go private.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,042
12,320
That's good to hear, I hope you are right. I wouldn't support a law that mandates that the grid buy excess power. The (federal) government needs to stay out of it altogether.

----------



Nice! So that is when it break's even, huh? Interesting. Well, I hate to break it to you but we still have some semblance of a free capatilist market in this country (albeit it's evaporating fast) so the company has no control over who buys, sells, shorts or options it's shares. If it want's that control, it can buy back all it's shares and go private.

And capitalists should all realize by now (especially with the Koch Brothers involved) that with money comes INFLUENCE. One has the ability to make a difference in this world, instead of just thinking about money. It is money that corrupts, yet what you do with that money could influence MILLIONS.

It's that shortsidedness that has the heads of a lot of so-called "capitalists" spinning.

BL.
 

G4er?

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
626
21
Temple, TX
California is currently in a drought. In fact some drought in the past lasted up to 240 years. Just where is the water going to come from to clean all those solar panels so that they produce electricity?

Did you know that we have yet to reach the break even point when it comes to solar energy? Stanford University calculated the energy used to produce all the solar panels ever made and the amount of energy those panels have produced.

Might reach the break even point in 2018.
 

skaeroastro

macrumors newbie
Jul 9, 2014
19
3
bot lane
doesn't matter. the UV rays are the ones that provide the solar energy. even if its foggy, the rays still make it through. haven't you ever been burned at the beach when its overcast?

do your research before you say that UV provides the majority of solar energy at ground level. Most UV energy does not make it to the ground, with the exception of lower energy UV-A rays. Besides, wide-spectrum multijunction cells are extremely expensive and receive from ~300 to 1800 nm, or all of the visible spectrum and near infrared.

Attached is a graph (from Wikipedia) that shows the spectrum (useful for solar cells) that actually reaches the ground.
 

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