Feeds

Apple plans big solar farm to clean dirty datacenter

Project Dolphin – how green can you get?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Apple is planning to build a huge solar farm to augment the power supply of one of its dirtiest datacenter clusters.

The company has asked permission to clear 171 acres of land for a solar energy harvesting operation at a new datacenter in Maiden, North Carolina – codenamed Project Dolphin. Apple’s existing datacenter operations there are among the most environmentally unsound, with a Greenpeace report in April finding 94 per cent of generative and cooling power coming from nuclear or coal energy.

Under a planning application spotted by the Charlotte Observer, the company plans to expand its existing solar facilities by removing topsoil to grade a site opposite the new datacenter. The company has promised not to block streams in the area as it does so. Permission for the work has been issued, but no further information will be forthcoming until Apple applies for a formal building permit.

Apple Maiden data center

Project Dolphin looking to green Apple's image

A Greenpeace spokesman told The Register that, working on the best available information, the datacenter should require a base load of around 100MW, although Apple isn’t disclosing exact figures. North Carolina gets an average for five sun-hours a day, and if the 171 acre site was covered with the best available solar cells, Greenpeace guesstimates the site would generate around 30,000 MW hours per year, under best case conditions. That’s helpful, but little more than that.

Cheap power and land is what attracts many companies to North Carolina, with Facebook and Google also having datacenters there, and incentive schemes like the One North Carolina Fund are set up to get employment for local workers. But Apple has been facing criticism from environmental groups for the environmental effects of its power, and greening its image does no harm, as well as protecting it to an extent from the vicissitudes of the energy market.

Apple has worked to improve its less-than-clean environmental reputation. For years, the company stonewalled in response to heated criticism over toxic chemical overuse and the poor standards of its suppliers. More recently, Apple's environmental stance has improved remarkably, with datacenters in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Cork, Ireland, that are now 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.