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Panel Installation Nearly Complete at Apple's Massive North Carolina Solar Farm

We've been following Apple's work at its Maiden, North Carolina data center for quite some time, and early last month we saw some good aerial photos showing ongoing work at the site including the installation of a major solar farm to help meet Apple's renewable energy goals for the center.

GigaOM now shares some new video stills shot from the air by WCNC-TV showing that installation at the massive solar farm is nearly complete with the 100-acre site now filled with row after row of ground-mounted solar panels.


The solar farm is just one of two being developed Apple to support the data center, with the one captured on film located directly across the street from the center and the other located a few miles away. Together, the two similarly-sized solar farms will provide roughly 40 megawatts of power, with an on-site fuel cell facility providing an additional 5 megawatts.


Regulatory documents indicate that Apple plans to complete installation at the solar farm across the street from its data center by November 1, with operation set to commence by December 21. While solar panel installation appears to already be nearly complete, it is unclear if Apple is ahead of schedule on the project, as there is undoubtedly additional infrastructure work that will be required before the solar farm becomes operational.

Following some criticism from environmental group Greenpeace that overstated Apple's reliance on dirty energy sources for its data center power, Apple went public with plans to power all of its data center with 100% renewable energy. Beyond the North Carolina data center, Apple operates a smaller center in Newark, California near its headquarters and is in the process of developing new centers in Oregon and Nevada.

Top Rated Comments

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26 months ago
Greenpeace to Apple: Look at how many trees you cut down for this!

PITA to Apple: Look at how many forest animals lost their homes for this!
Rating: 17 Votes
26 months ago
When has Greanpeace ever made any peace? :confused:
Rating: 16 Votes
26 months ago

It may be green after it is installed and running but the manufacturing of the panels is far from green, their disposal at EOL is far from green and the impact on the land while unclear is at least not green....


If you look at the total impact over 20 years of operations it is hard to beat solar. Yes they have to be built but only once. Anything else that consumes fuel will consume a LOT of fuel over 20 years. Even natural gas.

So DO THE MATH. Add it up over a 20 year life and see what you get.
Rating: 12 Votes
26 months ago

life-less desert


Deserts are full of life.
Rating: 11 Votes
26 months ago
I hope it's not always that cloudy... haha
Rating: 9 Votes
26 months ago

So it's ok to knock down tress for solar panels.....


Please cite your source that's showing visual evidence that this wasn't an empty field/farm rather than a forest.
Rating: 9 Votes
26 months ago
Loving to see this.
It's not about plans or intentions. This is action. Now.
Rating: 8 Votes
26 months ago
no good deed goes unpunished......
Rating: 7 Votes
26 months ago

It may be green after it is installed and running but the manufacturing of the panels is far from green, their disposal at EOL is far from green and the impact on the land while unclear is at least not green.

I am curious if the more expert here know what is used to keep the panels from getting dirty from rain? I am guessing one of those films that make water sheen off. Probably a form of silicone.

Again not green.

I feel a centralized natural gas plant is a viable option to be "somewhat green". It's a greenhouse gas worth disposing of on its own merit. Every well and refinery already burns it off into the atmosphere to convert methane to CO2, a 40x less powerful greenhouse gas. Totally wasted energy on a huge scale.

Rocketman


Yeah they probably didn't do their research before starting this project. They probably just said to themselves "People will think we're green if we do this." and they did it without any thought at all.

They should have harvested the kinetic energy from the raccoons and chipmunks they displaced...
Rating: 7 Votes
26 months ago

Please cite your source that's showing visual evidence that this wasn't an empty field/farm rather than a forest.


Photos here.
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/oct/25/land-being-cleared-apple-solar-farm-ar-1538274/
Sure looks like bulldozers pushing down trees to me.
Rating: 6 Votes

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