updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed December 7, 2011
Among largest corporate solar projects
An updated plan for Apple's forthcoming "spaceship" campus has been published at the City of Cupertino website, and shows that Apple is planning to cover the roof in solar tiles, notes 9to5Mac. The roof is estimated to measure about 750,000 square feet, and if at least 500,000 is covered in solar cells, it's believed that Apple may be able to generate upwards of 5MW of power. The number also assumes 10W of power per square foot.
At 5MW the new campus would be one of the top corporate solar installations in the world, although Toys 'R' Us is working on a 5.38MW project in New Jersey. For Apple there are several incentives to invest in such coverage, the first being lower long-term costs through not having to pay for grid energy. The building should also continue to operate in situations where the grid is unavailable, although former Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicated the company wants to use city power as a backup.
The campus is still extremely early into development. Construction has yet to begin, and will only finish in 2015. Apple has nevertheless been considering the prospect of a third campus.