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Apple to build 20MW solar array to support Reno data center

updated 11:53 pm EDT, Mon July 1, 2013

137 acre site using new technology to increase plant efficiency

Continuing its trend of green energy utility, Apple is reportedly planning to build out a 20MW solar array adjacent to its upcoming Reno, Nevada data center. The new system will include both solar panels and mirrored concentrators on the 137-acre site to increase the power density at the location.

Apple is teaming up with Nevada energy company NV Energy, and will utilize solar company SunPower for the build. Apple and SunPower have worked together in the past on the solar array in Maiden, North Carolina. Under the terms of the deal with NV Energy, Apple can sell back excess power to the utility, or sell the array outright to NV Energy if desired in the future.

Regarding the Nevada build, Apple said in a statement that "all of Apple's data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels. This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center, but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137-acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year."

For its part, NV Energy spokesman Michael Yackira said that the company was "excited to be in partnership with Apple on a new solar energy project, the first project under our new Green Energy Program. This program allows customers such as Apple to choose to have a greater proportion of their energy coming from renewables than the law requires, without having a cost impact on our other customers."

Apple completed a 100-acre 20 MW site in Maiden, NC to power its data center in the area. A second 100-acre plot will be complete in late 2013.

by MacNN Staff



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