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.

maiden data center sep12 1
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.

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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

madsci954 Avatar
128 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!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ALCRON Avatar
128 months ago
When has Greanpeace ever made any peace? :confused:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisA Avatar
128 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dreyrugr Avatar
128 months ago
life-less desert

Deserts are full of life.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
128 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DonoB Avatar
128 months ago
I hope it's not always that cloudy... haha
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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