updated 03:14 pm EDT, Thu August 2, 2012
Images include 'tactical' center, solar farm, possible biogas site
New aerial photos obtained by Wired reveal some of Apple's recent progress on expanding its North Carolina datacenter. Immediately next to the main facility -- which handles iCloud and iTunes traffic -- is Apple's so-called "tactical" datacenter, which provides some unknown support functions. Across the road is a 100-acre solar farm, still under construction, which should eventually generate 20MW of power. Also seen in photos is a power substation, and small plot which may be where Apple intends to put its 4.8MW biogas facility.
Apple has said that the datacenter, located near the town of Maiden, will run entirely on renewable energy by the end of 2012. In the meantime the company is dependent on the local power grid, which has attracted some fire from Greenpeace. The environmental activist group complains that much of the power in the area is sourced from coal-fired power plants, which are not only not renewable but contribute to air pollution.