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Farm will help power the section of the grid responsible for powering Apple's Nevada data center

As cloud services become more and more vital to Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) gadgets -- particularly those of a mobile variety -- the company is adding a great deal of capacity to its U.S. data centers.  Its latest addition was a massive data center in Maiden, North Carolina.  Current work is focused on building a massive new headquarters in the San Francisco area.

But Apple doesn't want run-of-the-mill data centers.  It's looking to build its brand image and potentially capitalize on long term cost savings by financing massive on-site or adjacent alternative energy farms.  The new N.C. data center is a standout thus far, with the nation's largest private solar farm in the IT space.  The farm produces enough juice to power the equivalent of 17,600 homes on a daily basis -- or roughly 167m kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.  Situated on 100 acres of land, the farm uses fuel cells from startup Bloom Energy for storing power to use when the sun isn't shining.

Now Apple has announced similar plans for its Reno, Nevada data center, according to Reuters.

The western data center is currently powered by Sierra Pacific Power Comp.  The new solar farm will feed directly into the grid, and is expected to negate 43.5m kWh worth of power use annually.

Apple green energy
Apple is backing up its renewable energy promises. [Image Source: Apple]

Apple gave no specifics on how much land the farm uses or when it is expected to be fully operation.  It did however, reveal one partner for the project -- Sierra Power Pacific's parent, NV Energy, Inc. (NVE).  NV Energy has some marquee billing; it was recently acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (BRH/A) subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings Comp.

After getting knocked by environmental advocacy Greenpeace in 2012, Apple looked to prove itself, expanding its global alternative energy portfolio aggressively over the last year. Currently 75 percent of Apple's power comes from renewable sources.  The company says on one of its publicity pages that it plans to reach 100 percent in years to come.

Source: Reuters





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