Print 23 comment(s) - last by johnsmith9875.. on Oct 27 at 12:57 PM

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.


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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.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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