Apple Receives Regulatory Approval for 20-Megawatt Solar Farm at North Carolina Data Center
The North Carolina Utilities Commission today officially approved (PDF) Apple's proposal to construct a 20-megawatt solar farm across the street from its data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
The Public Staff presented this matter to the Commission at its Regular Staff Conference on May 14, 2012. The Public Staff recommended that the Commission approve the application and issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of a 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility to be located at 6028 Startown Road, Maiden, North Carolina.
After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility.
Previous filings with federal regulators have indicated that Apple plans to have the solar farm installed by November 1, with operation to begin by December 21.
Apple signaled its intentions to build a data center at the site last October, moving to clear and grade the land as it sought approval for the project. The company publicly unveiled its plans back in February, noting that the facility will be the largest user-owned solar array in the United States. A separate 5-megawatt fuel cell facility is also under development at the site and is proceeding through a parallel regulatory approval process.
The official proposal was filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission on February 15, and was subjected to staff review of the plans, a public notice and comment period, and input from the State Clearinghouse on environmental and other issues. With that information in hand, the Commission offered its official approval this past Monday and finalized the certificate issuance today.