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  (Source: sas.com)
Apple has not yet announced the solar farm, but the county issued permits to the company to reshape the slope of some of the land it owns by its data center

Apple is going green with a secret solar project in North Carolina, which is expected to aid in powering its data center in Catawba County.

Apple has not yet announced the solar farm, but residents in the county are taking notice as Apple drops hints. According to The Charlotte Observer, Apple was issued permits by the county to "reshape the slope of some of the 171 acres" of land it owns across from the $1 billion data center in the town of Maiden, North Carolina.

The plans for the site, called "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded," are erosion control plans that show that Apple will keep soil which is moved around from washing into creeks, and that several gravel roads will be put in place for access to the solar panels. The plans also specify that a Charlotte, North Carolina firm is noted as the contractor on the permits.

However, other details about the solar farm were not provided, and county officials didn't seem to know much about the project either.

More information about Apple's solar farm will be presented when the tech giant applies for a building permit. But Apple has not yet asked for approval of a building permit for that area.

Apple was reportedly attracted to the area in North Carolina due to Duke Energy's low rates, which is the current provider of electricity to Apple's data center. But Duke has solar arrays in other areas of the county, such as Marshall Steam Station.

This isn't Apple's first greener effort when it comes to its facilities. Its plants in Sacramento, California, Austin, Texas and Cork, Ireland are completely powered by alternative energy.

Source: CharlotteObserver.com



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Economic Sense
By GuinnessKMF on 10/26/2011 10:03:12 AM , Rating: 2
I love when I see renewable and clean energy as making economic sense. Businesses have no problem going green when it saves them money, and I'm sure it'll create some good high tech jobs (temporary as they may be).




RE: Economic Sense
By mcnabney on 10/26/2011 10:43:05 AM , Rating: 3
Jobs in China.

Solar panels are almost all made in Asia now. Wind turbines are still made here though.


RE: Economic Sense
By lelias2k on 10/26/2011 4:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but who will install and maintain them? ;)


RE: Economic Sense
By StanO360 on 10/26/2011 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 2
You can't believe this tripe. It makes marketing sense not economic sense.

By no means can you run a data center by wind power. You can slap wind turbines on some acreage to supplement your power. Turbines that won't pay off for decades and even more if you and I didn't donate a bunch of money to pay for them.

The real "green" things they are probably doing that do make sense they won't talk about because they are not interesting to Apple's customer base. Reusing server heat, server efficiency, etc. things that acutally work without government subsidy and make economic sense for companies.

Notice, they went there for the "low rates".


RE: Economic Sense
By GuinnessKMF on 10/26/2011 2:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
You really think they'd build a massive solar installment instead of just running another ad with a stupid pop song that gets stuck in people's heads?

They are not losing money doing this. They are getting subsidized and likely getting amazing loan rates. The jobs to make the panels might be in China but it's still local jobs to install, setup and maintain the installation.

It doesn't matter if it takes takes 10 years to pay off (and I think that's a stretch), it's a business with tons of money in their coffers. This is about making money, not about the marketing, the marketing is just icing.

It could take 100 years to pay off (while maintaining), but if they got the proper loan for it where the savings are more than they pay for the loan, then it's going to save them money now, and lots of money in the long run. I promise you that it does, or they wouldn't be doing it.


RE: Economic Sense
By lelias2k on 10/26/11, Rating: 0
RE: Economic Sense
By GuinnessKMF on 10/27/2011 9:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
I wasn't complaining, I am happy to see the incentives put into this type of program over many of the much less productive incentives that are out there.

I am saying that a large company with stockholders is not going to go green without it being financially responsible, if you look at my original post you'll see that I love it when it does make financial sense.

Small companies and individuals actually have consciousness and will go green for personal reasons, or when it's part of their business model.


RE: Economic Sense
By GuinnessKMF on 10/27/2011 10:07:41 AM , Rating: 2
My bad, I just realized you were telling me to not bother trying to explain it to him, I misunderstood you.


RE: Economic Sense
By Solandri on 10/26/2011 3:02:01 PM , Rating: 3
Generally, unsubsidized solar PV takes 15-20 years to pay for itself. That's outside the scope of feasibility for most individuals - the interest payments on the loan would make it a losing proposition. But it's easily doable for a corporation. The only way it's a losing proposition for a corporation is if something damages/destroys the panels, the price of energy plummets, or interest rates skyrocket (meaning the money would've been better invested elsewhere).

Apple in particular is sitting on a boatload of cash, so buying something like this does make economic sense compared to earning a measly 1% interest.


RE: Economic Sense
By StanO360 on 10/26/2011 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
You can't believe this tripe. It makes marketing sense not economic sense.

By no means can you run a data center by solar panels. You can solar panels on some acreage to supplement your power. They won't pay off for decades and even more if you and I didn't donate a bunch of money to pay for them.

The real "green" things they are probably doing that do make sense they won't talk about because they are not interesting to Apple's customer base. Reusing server heat, server efficiency, etc. things that acutally work without government subsidy and make economic sense for companies.

Notice, they went there for the "low rates".


Cool! Hats off to Apple
By retrospooty on 10/26/2011 10:08:30 AM , Rating: 1
You have to commend them for at least trying to do something like this. Its a good thing. I like the move as long as they can promise that they will not claim to have invented Solar power and do not allow the myth that they did to propagate to their fanboy ranks. =)




RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By mcnabney on 10/26/2011 10:41:26 AM , Rating: 3
It is still completely stupid to build solar near Charlotte. It isn't exactly sunny every day.

Charlotte gets 109 sunny days per year.
Phoenix gets 211.

Even with line loss, you would get more KWh building in Arizona and transporting the power all the way across the country.


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By retrospooty on 10/26/2011 11:25:22 AM , Rating: 2
Good point... I live outside of phoenix and I am not sure where you got that data, but its more like 325 sunny days per year. The 211 figure doesn not include mostly sunny and partly sunny, which are all mostly sunny.


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By Reclaimer77 on 10/26/2011 11:47:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It is still completely stupid to build solar


Fixed.


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By Paj on 10/27/2011 7:11:30 AM , Rating: 2
Gotta love posts like this, where some guy on the internet make some groundbreaking observation that a multi billion dollar corporation, with teams of scientists, engineers, lawyers and executives, must have missed.


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By Strunf on 10/27/2011 8:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
They didn't miss it, they just chose to ignore it... it's all about getting some "good" publicity!


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By Noya on 10/27/2011 4:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have to commend them for at least trying to do something like this. Its a good thing.


Are you kidding me? How old are you?

Take a simple IQ test and share your score.


RE: Cool! Hats off to Apple
By retrospooty on 10/27/2011 8:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Forgive me oh wise one who has all the answers to humanities woes...

Take out a crowbar and try to pry your mind open just a crack to let some light in. It might do you some good.


wasted land
By undummy on 10/26/2011 3:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
All that land covered by solar panels could be used to grow corn for ethanol......

Apple has so much money in the bank, from selling grossly overpriced gadgets, that they can do whatever they want with it. They will feel smug, along with all those iProduct users.




lol
By shin0bi272 on 10/26/2011 5:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
now I will be able to have fun with my baseball bat muah ha ha ha haaa.... millions of dollars wasted with a few hours of smashies.




iElectricity or iPower?
By DeluxeTea on 10/26/2011 11:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Will only work with Apple products.




EULA
By radium69 on 10/27/2011 7:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
By agreeing to the terms Apple may:

-Use these solar panels as a Solar Death Ray
-Burn your house down in occasion of misfire
-Access to your bank account for patent purchase
-Sue every single human being for obvious magic
-Sew your mouth to someone else his rectum.

Thank you have a nice day.




Why bother with solar and wind
By johnsmith9875 on 10/27/2011 12:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
We got plenty of wood, lets burn that to power our datacenters.

Anybody seen my buggy whip? I left it on the same table where I keep my sundial.




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