Apple says its new manufacturing plant in Arizona will run completely on solar and geothermal from day 1.
If so, this would be the first US manufacturing plant that runs 100% on on-site renewable energy.
They are being cagey about the details, saying only that they will work with Arizona utility, Salt River Project, to “construct a new solar power grid in the city that will power manufacturing operations” and also send energy to the grid. Other sources mention geothermal.
In March, Apple announced that all its data centers now run solely on renewable energy and it is on track to power the company as a whole on renewables, from 75% today.
The building – formerly owned by First Solar – will house 700 permanent employees that make components for Apple products and another 1300 people will have temporary construction jobs.
GT Advanced Technologies (Nasdaq: GTAT)- known in our field for making solar manufacturing equipment – struck a deal to run the sapphire-making equipment in the factory and supply Apple with sapphire materials.
Roundly criticized for designing its products here but then making them all in China, Apple promised to begin moving manufacturing jobs back to the US.
Last year, Apple said it would invest $100 million to bring some manufacturing back. Its high-end Mac Pro, which goes on sale next month, is being assembled at a Texas plant and a repair facility is planned in Pennsylvania.
The company recently got approval for its new spaceship designed corporate campus in California: