updated 03:25 pm EST, Fri March 2, 2012
Few alternatives said to exist
Bloom Energy is responsible for supplying the hardware behind Apple's upcoming 5MW fuel cell farm, two GigaOM sources claim. The company may already have some Bloom cells at its Cupertino headquarters. The 5MW farm will support Apple's datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, helping the building to use cleaner, off-the-grid power in association with a solar array.
Bloom notably offers cells that handle 100kW each, which would require an even 50 units in Maiden. The company also has many other high-tech firms on its client list, such as Adobe and eBay, and may be one of the few companies capable of meeting Apple's demands. Two other possibilities are UTC Power and FuelCell Energy, but UTC's 400kW cells would require an uneven 12.5 units, and FuelCell has outright denied having Apple as a client. "Apple is not a customer at present and there is not an FCE plant operating at the Cupertino facility," the firm says.
GigaOM says it is "not 100 percent sure" of Bloom's involvement, but "pretty sure."