Data centers are not usually considered to be hazardous work environments, but Apple U.S. data centers have had a string of bad luck lately, and a new incident at the company’s center in North Carolina is adding to the fire.
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Apple plans to open two new data centers in Europe, its biggest European project to date. Located in Ireland and Denmark, the twin data centers will power the company’s online services including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri for local customers.
Thanks primarily to the memories of its botched sapphire production efforts, Apple’s not had the best of luck so far with Mesa, Arizona — although politicians in the state are desperate to keep it there.
Under a new Senate Bill put forward this week, Apple could receive between one and two decades’ worth of tax breaks for its planned Mesa data center. The tax breaks, introduced by State senator Jeff Dial, would relate to Apple primarily because of its plans to power the facility with 100 percent renewable energy.
Having turned over a new leaf when it comes sustainability, Apple is rightly proud.
So proud, in fact, that it made the surprisingly un-Apple move of opening the doors of its North Carolina data center to NBC’s show, to shine a focus on the building’s pioneering use of renewable energy.
Remember when Tim Cook said he wanted Apple to be a “force for good” in the world, in terms of sustainability?
In keeping with Apple’s plans to use 100% renewable energy to power all of its facilities, it has recently taken over a small hydroelectric project at a Central Oregon site, near to the company’s data center in Prineville.
Since these data centers consume massive amounts of electricity (read: the equivalent of a small city), Apple has been keen to explore alternative sources of energy to keep them in clean, renewable energy.
Apple’s already “big-ass” North Carolina data center is about to get even bigger.
Based on an erosion permit filed with Catawba County on Wednesday, Apple is looking to build an additional structure onto the side of its existing already enormous complex. Made of precast concrete wall panels, along with steel columns, this add-on is set to add 14,246 square feet, and be around 25 ft tall.
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In order to supply power to its new data center in Reno, Nevada, Apple plans to build a solar array in collaboration with NV Energy, a Nevada utility company. The energy farm should power the data center as well as the surrounding community, says Apple.
This new solar plant is right in line with Apple’s efforts to use as much renewable energy as possible in its facilities. The site in Cork, Ireland is powered by wind and sites in Elk Grove, California as well as Austin are completely powered by green energy as well, which is pretty darn cool.
Following heavy complaints from activist groups like Greenpeace, Apple announced last year that all of its data centers would be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2013.
Apple just updated their Environmental Policies webpage to report that as of now, all its data centers are running on 100% renewable energy.
Unlike Facebook and Google, when Apple decides to build a huge new data center, they’re not going to let anybody inside to see the technological marvels that they’ve cooked up. Apple just broke ground on a $68 million data center in Prinveville, Oregon, so rather than waiting forever to get an invite to tour the place, Wired sent out their spy plane to get some pictures.
Only a few parts of the data center have been completed, but it is interesting how close Apple is building their data center to Facebook’s gigantic new twin data center. Maybe being neighbors will help the two companies become best friends.
Here’s the pics of the future iCloud of the West.