Apple has huge solar plans at N.C. data center – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Exterior of Apple's Maiden NC data center

Apple

Apple plans to power its massive North Carolina data center with the biggest end-user-owned solar farm in the country.

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Apple Inc.    Apple Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Best Buy cuts iPad 2 price as iPad 3 nearsAndroid takes iPhone battle to the officeBest Buy cuts iPad 2 price by as iPad 3 nears Follow this company said Monday that it plans to power its massive data center in North Carolina with equally massive solar and fuel-cell installations.

The company said the solar array, expected to cover much of 100 acres, will be the biggest end-user-owned installation in the country. Its capacity is estimated at 20 megawatts, supplying 42 million kilowatt hours of solar power annually.

The fuel-cell installation is estimated at 5 megawatts and will be fueled by biogas. Two likely suppliers of the fuel cells are Bloom Energy    Bloom Energy Latest from The Business Journals Apple has big solar plans at NC data centerBaltimore taps Bloom Energy to potentially trim power costsInvestor fund adds to holdings of Facebook, Twitter Follow this company or FuelCell Energy    FuelCell Energy Latest from The Business Journals Apple has big solar plans at NC data centerGeneral Motors, The Gas Co. create hydrogen car test marketPG&E gets approval for Bloom fuel cell Follow this company .

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has already spent an estimated $1 billion to build the 500,000-square-foot data center in Maiden, N.C., which plays a major role in its iCloud storage and sync service and its Siri voice-activated personal assistant.

The fact that the company planned to build a large solar farm next to the data center has been known since last year but the exact size hadn’t been revealed until Apple issued an environmental report Monday, along with a facilities report.

Click here to see a PDF of Apple’s facilities report.

Click here to see Apple’s environmental report.

Written by Cromwell Schubarth. Contact him at cschubarth@bizjournals.com or 408.299.1823.

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