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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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We've been following Apple's work at its Maiden, North Carolina data center for quite some time, and early last month we saw some good aerial photos showing ongoing work at the site including the installation of a major solar farm to help meet Apple's renewable energy goals for the center.

GigaOM now shares some new video stills shot from the air by WCNC-TV showing that installation at the massive solar farm is nearly complete with the 100-acre site now filled with row after row of ground-mounted solar panels.

maiden_data_center_sep12_1.jpg



The solar farm is just one of two being developed Apple to support the data center, with the one captured on film located directly across the street from the center and the other located a few miles away. Together, the two similarly-sized solar farms will provide roughly 40 megawatts of power, with an on-site fuel cell facility providing an additional 5 megawatts.

maiden_data_center_sep12_2.jpg



Regulatory documents indicate that Apple plans to complete installation at the solar farm across the street from its data center by November 1, with operation set to commence by December 21. While solar panel installation appears to already be nearly complete, it is unclear if Apple is ahead of schedule on the project, as there is undoubtedly additional infrastructure work that will be required before the solar farm becomes operational.

Following some criticism from environmental group Greenpeace that overstated Apple's reliance on dirty energy sources for its data center power, Apple went public with plans to power all of its data center with 100% renewable energy. Beyond the North Carolina data center, Apple operates a smaller center in Newark, California near its headquarters and is in the process of developing new centers in Oregon and Nevada.

Article Link: Panel Installation Nearly Complete at Apple's Massive North Carolina Solar Farm
 

madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
2,705
598
Ohio
Greenpeace to Apple: Look at how many trees you cut down for this!

PITA to Apple: Look at how many forest animals lost their homes for this!
 

thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
1,097
1,027
Germany
wow! that many! getting a significant part of the total requirement i assume! but solar cells always seem too gimmicky for me TBH
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
It may be green after it is installed and running but the manufacturing of the panels is far from green, their disposal at EOL is far from green and the impact on the land while unclear is at least not green.

I am curious if the more expert here know what is used to keep the panels from getting dirty from rain? I am guessing one of those films that make water sheen off. Probably a form of silicone.

Again not green.

I feel a centralized natural gas plant is a viable option to be "somewhat green". It's a greenhouse gas worth disposing of on its own merit. Every well and refinery already burns it off into the atmosphere to convert methane to CO2, a 40x less powerful greenhouse gas. Totally wasted energy on a huge scale.

Rocketman
 
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wkadamsjr

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2010
281
61
The solar farm is just one of two being developed Apple to support the data center, with the one captured on film located directly across the street from the center and the other located a few miles away.

Being developed by Apple. Proofreading....
 

flash84x

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2011
189
132
Wow, that looks like it could run the whole state. They'd only need one of those cluster here in PHX.
 

turtlez

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2012
977
0
It may be green after it is installed and running but the manufacturing of the panels is far from green, their disposal at EOL is far from green and the impact on the land while unclear is at least not green.

I am curious if the more expert here know what is used to keep the panels from getting dirty from rain? I am guessing one of those films that make water sheen off. Probably a form of silicone.

Again not green.

I feel a centralized natural gas plant is a viable option to be "somewhat green". It's a greenhouse gas worth disposing of on its own merit. Every well and refinery already burns it off into the atmosphere to convert methane to CO2, a 40x less powerful greenhouse gas. Totally wasted energy on a huge scale.

Rocketman

I have 22 solar panels on my roof (5 kilowatt system) and I clean them every 3 or so months with just water and a window cleaner. Brings them up factory fresh every time.
 

Bruce Oksol

macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2009
140
35
Texas
I don't have to wash my roof -- ever.

I have 22 solar panels on my roof (5 kilowatt system) and I clean them every 3 or so months with just water and a window cleaner. Brings them up factory fresh every time.


1. I don't have to wash my roof .... ever.
2. The solar panels at Apple site: no dual use.
3. No farm land, no forest, no animals, just fancy technology; and this is just for one local facility. Imagine how much land would be tied up if everyone did this. This is not progress. This is PC (as in politically correct).
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,870
703
Redondo Beach, California
It may be green after it is installed and running but the manufacturing of the panels is far from green, their disposal at EOL is far from green and the impact on the land while unclear is at least not green....

If you look at the total impact over 20 years of operations it is hard to beat solar. Yes they have to be built but only once. Anything else that consumes fuel will consume a LOT of fuel over 20 years. Even natural gas.

So DO THE MATH. Add it up over a 20 year life and see what you get.
 
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