Apple recently announced that it is constructing what is billed to be the United States’ biggest end user owned solar array, which will have the capacity of producing renewable energy worth 42 million kilowatt hours every year.
Apple’s initiative will greatly benefit its billion dollar data center situated in Maiden, North Carolina. The news isn’t new, however, as reports of the solar farm were leaked in October, it was found that Catawba County approved permits for the electronics company to redevelop land owned by it for the installation of a solar array.
We don’t have all the details on the project, but what we do know is that it will be a 20MW solar installation situated on 100 acres of land and will be capable of supplying energy worth 42 million kilowatt hours annually. In addition, Apple will also be constructing a 5MW fuel cell installation to help power the data center. When completed, the installation will run on 100 percent biogas as well as provide 40 million kilowatt hours of energy every year.
The electronics giant has more up its sleeve, including, a white cool roof to reflect sunlight, a chilled water storage system that will transfer 10,400 kWh of power from peak hours to off peak hours daily. Also it will funnel outside air at night and during cold weather. The use of the water system and the funneled air, will allow the chillers to be switched off for more than 75 percent of the time. The LED lights are equipped with motion sensors and they too help in cutting down on power use.
Apple’s efforts to make its data center as energy efficient as possible will go a long way in ensuring that power is conserved. The center has also earned LEED certification, giving fillip to the company’s aim to become as green as possible.