Apple Report Describes New 100-Acre, 20-Megawatt Data Center in North Carolina As Largest in U.S.
February 21, 2012 9:30 AM
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Apple's North Carolina data center
Apple's report also details its electricity consumption and green efforts over the last year
Apple has made some considerable green contributions to the renewable energy effort recently, including the company's Maiden, North Carolina data center, which will feature the U.S.'
largest end user-owned, onsite solar array
According to Apple's 2012 Facilities Report and Environmental Update, which describes the company's energy savings and environmental footprint in Apple stores, data centers and R&D buildings, solar power will become a huge part of its Maiden, North Carolina data center. In fact, Apple is out to build the largest end user-owned solar array in the nation.
The onsite solar array surrounding the facility will be approximately 100 acres. It will be a 20-megawatt facility that will generate about 42 million kWh of clean energy on an annual basis. Next to it will be the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the U.S. as well, which will be a 5-megawatt facility generating 40 million kWh of 24x7 baseload of renewable energy annually.
The data center has already received some attention from the U.S. Green Building Council, which gave it LEED Platinum certification. Apple also mentioned that no other data center of its size has been awarded such a high level of LEED certification.
In addition to the Maiden,
North Carolina data center
, Apple has been making other green efforts to reduce its negative environmental impact. In 2011 alone, Apple consumed 493 million kWh of electricity as well as 3 million therms of natural gas. According to the report, Apple used renewable energy efforts to escape about 30 million kilograms of CO2e emissions. It has also managed to convert 54 million kWh of consumption annually to renewable energy in facilities around the world.
Apple seems to be joining the likes of other tech giants like Google, which has invested in many renewable energy initiatives such as a
$75 million residential solar panel
world's largest wind farm
, and a $168 million investment in the
Ivanpah solar electric generating system
In December 2011, Apple patent applications described
two new fuel cell-powered mobile device
"Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device."
9 to 5 Mac
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RE: Oh, brother
2/21/2012 11:36:43 AM
Well the cost of running the cables to those areas would be quite high. You're not close to any other central networks and thus would have to build redundant routes. Latency also would be an issue as traffic would have to travel far to make it to a POP before it could get onto the network the client is on. Generating power is also an issue though on Iceland geothermal would be a good option. (This could work in some areas of Alaska as well) The extra costs of shipping everything from building materials to computer hardware would probably be a nonstarter as well.
RE: Oh, brother
2/21/2012 11:52:21 AM
There's also the human cost... You need dozens if not hundreds of IT people to manage large data centers. How many qualified candidates would want to live in Alaska year round?
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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