Apple buys 100 acres of land for new $55m solar farm

Photo: Chandra Marsono

Photo: Chandra Marsono

The city of Claremont, North Carolina, has approved a new development that will allow Apple to build a new sustainable solar farm.

With an initial investment of $55 million, Apple’s latest solar farm will be a massive, 100-acre, 17.5-megawatt project, likely to take five years to complete.

Currently the value of the land is $1.4 million, but Apple will be giving two tracts back to the city for use as greenways, recreation space and other public works projects. These tracts are reportedly valued at a combined $96,000.

This will be Apple’s third solar farm in Catawba County. The first is located on the company’s data center campus in Maiden, while paperwork filed in 2013 gives Apple the rights to build another 20-megawatt farm a few miles away in Conover.

Apple’s VP of Environmental Initiatives Lisa Jackson says Cupertino’s data centers are run off 100 percent renewable sources like solar and bio-gas, as is the case with 94 percent of Apple’s corporate structures. The next step is reportedly for brick-and-mortar Apple Stores to be taken completely off the grid — in line with Tim Cook’s vision for Apple as a sustainable “force for good” in the world.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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