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.
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.
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.
Amazon, Facebook & Google also have data centers in Prineville, Oregon.
Apple has begun work on the first phase of its Prineville data center, which will include clearing and flattening the land for one of two 330,000 square-foot buildings. Each building is said to be more than twice the size of a typical Costco store, and this initial phase of construction alone is expected to cost Apple $68 million.
When Apple makes a major investment in a community, it can be a contentious thing, sometimes leading to a lot of environmental controversy. For Apple’s latest data center in Crook County, Oregon, though, Apple is doing something for the local community that would seemingly be pretty hard to criticize: tapping an ancient, recently discovered underground stream to give the city clean water.
See that big building right there? It’s part of Apple’s huge new data center over in North Carolina that powers all the iCloud magic that makes your iOS experience possible. Apple’s data center compound is massive. It comes with a 500,000 square foot data center, a 100-acre solar farm, a 4.8-megawatt fuel cell array, and a few other little buildings sprinkled all over.
The little 21,000 square foot building in the picture above is what Apple’s calling a “tactical data center.” No one knows just what it’s supposed to be, and of course Apple’s not going to tell anyone. So Wired jumped in their spy plane to get a closer look, and this is what they found out: