North Carolina Regulators Approve Apple's Plans for 4.8-Megawatt Fuel Cell Facility at Maiden Data Center

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The North Carolina Utilities Commission today officially approved (PDF) Apple's proposal to construct a 4.8-megawatt fuel cell electric generating facility near its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The Commission previously approved a plan by Apple to build the first of two 20 megawatt solar farms around its data center.
The Public Staff presented this matter to the Commission at its Regular Staff Conference on May 21, 2012. The Public Staff recommended that the Commission approve the application and issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed 4.8-MW AC fuel cell electric generating facility located at 5977 Startown Road, Maiden, Catawba County, North Carolina.
Previous filings (PDF) with federal regulators have indicated that Apple plans to have the fuel cell facility installed by July 16, with operation to begin by July 30.



Bloom's Fuel Cell Boxes
Apple is acquiring the fuel cell boxes from Bloom Energy, based in Sunnyvale, California, near Apple's Cupertino headquarters where Apple already has some Bloom boxes installed. It appears that the fuel cell boxes will be powered by standard natural gas from the grid, while Apple will be purchasing environmentally-friendly biogas from a local provider which will be inserted into the grid at a 1:1 ratio. This will keep the system as "green" as possible.

Apple signaled its intentions to build a data center at the site last October, moving to clear and grade the land as it sought approval for the project. The company publicly unveiled its plans back in February, noting that the facility will be the largest user-owned fuel cell installation in the United States not owned by a utility company.

Article Link: North Carolina Regulators Approve Apple's Plans for 4.8-Megawatt Fuel Cell Facility at Maiden Data Center
 

Wondercow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2008
552
361
Toronto, Canada
. . . noting that the facility will be the largest user-owned fuel cell installation in the United States not owned by a utility company. . . .
Is there a United States that is owned by a utility company?


That's great news.

I wonder how greenpeace will ignore this piece of news?
They won't ignore it; they'll notice it and complain that the ratio is a lowly 1:1 :rolleyes:
 

Sasoon

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2012
22
0
This is a step in a right direction.
I think Google and eBay are already using this technology
 

BMNB1tch

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2009
135
0
natural gas ?!?!?!

go watch the documentary "Gasland"

Fracking causes some of the worst environmental damage outside of radiation

it poisons the water supply with tons of carcinogens

enough so that you can set tap water on fire in some cases! :mad:
 

JHankwitz

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2005
1,907
58
Wisconsin
natural gas ?!?!?!

go watch the documentary "Gasland"
Fracking causes some of the worst environmental damage outside of radiation
it poisons the water supply with tons of carcinogens
enough so that you can set tap water on fire in some cases! :mad:
So, you're saying that they're fracking in North Carolina? Once the Earth's shell is shatered enough and it's core blows, we won't be around to care about it anyway.

I guess you're to young to remember the Erie Canal catching fire on a regular basis. At least we'll be able to heat our house with tap water. :(
 

Limboistik

macrumors regular
Aug 11, 2011
192
5
natural gas ?!?!?!

go watch the documentary "Gasland"

Fracking causes some of the worst environmental damage outside of radiation

it poisons the water supply with tons of carcinogens

enough so that you can set tap water on fire in some cases! :mad:
How should they power their data center then?
Invest in their own nuclear plant? :rolleyes:
 

jlgolson

Contributing Editor
Jun 2, 2011
379
4
Durango, CO
How should they power their data center then?
Invest in their own nuclear plant? :rolleyes:
That's probably the greenest solution there is and, given that the average nuclear power plant costs billions of dollars to get up and running, Apple is one of the few companies that could afford it!
 

ladeer

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2007
391
10
Ok even I think this trivial tidbit is a bit over board for the front page.

We already had a front page story on this fuel cell at this data center. This new update is simply that got approved...
 

Deedlez

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2011
112
0
UK
Good that a company as large as Apple is leading the way on this sort of thing. Hopefully they can encourage other companies to follow suit, and lower the cost for this sort of thing.
 

aristotle

macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
1,768
5
Canada
How should they power their data center then?
Invest in their own nuclear plant? :rolleyes:
I hear that there are some smaller scale pebble reactors that are supposed to be quite safe compared with the old style fuel rod models although there is still the issue with storage, transport and safe disposal of the spent fuel.
 

needsomecoffee

macrumors regular
May 6, 2008
173
408
Seattle
Bloom FTW

Bloom has the potential to completely transform the United States. Rather than giant power plants, and huge transmission lines, current neighborhood substations could be replace by bloom plants. Powered by our overly abundant natural gas supplies (fracking issues aside). I wish companies like this that have real solutions would be Obama's attention rather than the half-billion pumped into Solyndra (or whatever it was). Don't mean to be too political, but Bloom has such great potential... Let the flaming being.
 

KingJosh

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2012
431
0
Australia
Nuclear plants have nuclear waste for everyone proing on it. Bloom is a great solution.

----------

Hopefully companies that copy Apple's design also copy Apple's green incentives too.
 

triceretops

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
159
0
Illinois
natural gas ?!?!?!

go watch the documentary "Gasland"
Fracking causes some of the worst environmental damage outside of radiation
it poisons the water supply with tons of carcinogens
enough so that you can set tap water on fire in some cases! :mad:
What leftist environmentalist nut case rag are you reading? I was able to set fire to my drinking water at home after they put a new water well on line. After I pointed that out, and demonstrated it, they took the well off line and capped it. There is no fracking taking place anywhere in this area. It is a naturally occurring phenomena that some of the water trapped underground has methane in it.
 

lifeguard90

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2010
620
0
Chicago
no one cares, we need Mac news . I fear we have to wait another week+until WWDC is close enough for stories to roll out ugh. iOS take a break
 

triceretops

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2003
159
0
Illinois
Maybe not so great.

Bloom boxes spew out CO2. Not so great.
CH4 (Methane - Primary Component of Natural Gas)
H2O (Water or Steam)

CH4+H2O -> CO + 3H2
CO + H2O -> CO2 + H2

Both of these reactions are endothermic which means it takes energy for them to take place.

CO2 expelled to atmosphere.
4H2 sent to fuel cell.

Fuel Cell
2H2 + O2 -> 2H2O + electricity.

Net gain, the amount of energy produced by oxidizing carbon to CO2. You can do the same thing by burning coal.

It's all math and chemistry.
 

frenchroast

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2008
20
0
Phase 3 will be damming the Redmond West Wetlands, to harness the hydropower from the rivers of tears that shall come forth from the Microsoft campus.
 
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