updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Could be promised second facility
Renewed construction has begun at Apple's datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina, according to local reports. While the main facility has been running for many months, primarily handling iCloud traffic, the Hickory Daily Record notes that part of the site's berm has been demolished for extra construction. A company contracted by Apple, Holder Construction, has also obtained an erosion control permit for over 34 acres at the datacenter, related to "grading for [a] new building."
Holder has also filed for a building permit with Catawaba County; documents mention a "Non-occupied Equipment Building." Most recently, a week ago, the town of Maiden issued a zoning permit to Holder involving a "tactical data center." Maiden town manager Todd Herms is also using this terminology, saying that "It's not clear how large the tactical data center will be but one can assume it would be to support ongoing operations at the site."
Herms adds that when Apple first said it would build a datacenter in Maiden, the company's plans involved twin datacenters. Only one has been built so far, which could mean that the new construction will fulfill original ambitions. Apple is separately at work on solar and fuel cell arrays to reduce dependence on grid power.