Apple Aims to Build Solar Farm Near North Carolina Data Center
October 26, 2011 9:42 AM
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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
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
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
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RE: Economic Sense
10/26/2011 3:02:01 PM
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.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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