Following heavy complaints from activist group Greenpeace, Apple announced today that all of its data centers will be powered by 100% renewable energy. Apple has also received approval to build its 20-megawatt solar farm next to its other data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
60% of the energy powering Apple’s data centers will be created onsite, while the remaining 40% will be generated through negotiations with local energy providers, like Duke Energy.
“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal,” Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook said in a statement to Cult of Mac.
“Apple’s doubling of its solar capacity and investment in local renewable energy are key steps to creating a cleaner iCloud. Greenpeace and Apple’s customers look forward to hearing more detail about how Apple plans to fulfill its commitment to renewable energy for its North Carolina and Oregon data centers. Apple is still one of Duke Energy’s largest customers, and will have to demand Duke provide the clean energy it needs to legitimately claim the iCloud is 100% powered by renewable energy.”
According to Gary Cook, “Greenpeace will continue its campaign to push Apple – and other IT giants like Microsoft and Amazon – to clean the cloud until Apple has policies to ensure that as Apple’s North Carolina data center and others continue to grow, they will grow using exclusively clean energy. To guarantee that, Apple must adopt a firm siting policy to prioritize renewable energy when it chooses locations for new data centers. Only then will customers have confidence that the iCloud will continue to get cleaner as it grows. “
The upcoming Apple data center in Prineville, Oregon will be powered by 100% renewable energy, and Apple’s first data center in Newark, California will also be powered by renewable energy after renovations begin in early 2013.