Apple’s NC and Oregon data centers to use 100 percent renewable energy

“Apple Inc. plans to power its main U.S. data center entirely with renewable energy by the end of this year, taking steps to address longstanding environmental concerns about the rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms,” Poornima Gupta reports for Reuters.

“Apple plans on using coal-free electricity in all three of its data centers, with the Maiden facility coal-free by the end of 2012,” Gupta reports. “‘I’m not aware of any other company producing energy onsite at this scale,’ Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said in a telephone interview. ‘The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data center in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.'”

Gupta reports, “‘Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,’ Oppenheimer said. ‘We haven’t finalized our plans for on-site generation, but any power we need to run our center in Prineville that we get from the grid will be 100 percent renewable and locally generated sources,’ the Apple CFO said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Cue Greenpeace’s self-congratulatory press release claiming responsibility for what Apple’s been planning for years in 3… 2…

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New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple plans USA’s largest private fuel cell energy project in North Carolina – April 1, 2012
How Apple took the lead on the environment – February 22, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple’s Mothership campus solar roof will be among biggest in U.S. – December 7, 2011
Apple working with US company, Leaf Solar Power, on North Carolina solar farm – November 8, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011
Apple building huge solar farm around its billion-dollar North Carolina data center – October 26, 2011


  1. Yes, this is very good news! Renewable energy will save Apple in the long run on fuel costs, since we know this is a project for the long haul, so it can only be good for Apple and for the planet. And it can set an example for other companies who want to go green in their production facilities. This is something to celebrate! 🙂

  2. The MDN take was exactly my thought: Greenpeace will now high five themselves and issue “We did it!” press releases.

    Thanks, Greenpeace, for giving environmentalism a bad name. Just what we needed.

    1. Prinville is in the Oregon high desert not too far from Bend, they wouldn’t be touching any of the National forest and they won’t be cutting any trees down. That area has a lot of windmills and hydroelectricity from The Dalles. Before you say it they have already installed fish ladders at all the dams in the Columbia river for the Steelhead and other native salmon population.

      1. +1

        Yeah, about the only thing getting cut down in Prinville is sage brush. Just wait some rodent loving group will come out and say there is some kind of endangered field mouse or something.

        1. And some science rube will mock it.

          This despite that fact that healthy ECOSYSTEMS are dependent on many creatures and ANY disruption to the food chain can be catastrophic.

          But why would we care about science or knowledge when we can be ignorant twits and make disparaging statements that make us feel smart in front of our rube friends. Right iGads?

  3. I actually expect Greenpeace to start protesting that Apple is only going to use 100% renewable energy. Why not use 110%?!

    They’ve proven that they are not very smart…

    1. If Apple went to 200% on-site renewable generation and sold the excess back to the grid it would become yet another revenue stream. Another Golden Apple, as it were.

  4. “taking steps to address longstanding environmental concerns about the rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farm”

    Huh, what? The NC data farm is only a year old. How can it be a “longstanding” concern?

  5. Oh, can it MDN. Do you really think Apple would be doing this if Greenpeace and others like them didn’t exist? Greenpeace’s tactics may be often annoying but I think you might have to acknowledge they had some part in this… As well as the fact that it’s undeniably a good outcome for everyone (except coal execs and shareholders, but don’t get me started on the outright immorality, to say nothing of dead-ender stupidity, of anyone still trying to make a buck in that game).

    1. I give Greenpeace absolutely zero credit for any influence on anything Apple does. I remember taking part in a focus group back in the late 80’s on Apples packaging. This is just before the time they went from the multicolored logo on the white colored cardboard box to the single colored logo on the natural uncool red cardboard box. Apple has always led the Industry in environmental concerns. One of the first laptop companies to move away from the use of NiMetal Hydride batteries, the first to have Bromate free production lines. The first to design and manufacture totally recyclable computers and electronics on a mass scale. None of these achievements were instigated by Greenpeace until after the fact and it was only because of Steve Jobs tight clamp on any Apple communication with the press or any outside organization in general. Greenpeace got all the computer manufacturers to commit to some measurables that they didn’t have to verify. Apple had the direct approach to first improve yields and make lasting products that wouldn’t be in the junk heap in 9 months ( typical Apple computers have a life cycle of 4 years to a decade). Second eliminate contamininants in Assembly, third reduce your carbon foot print in design and maintenance facilities, I.e. cloud based operations and repair facilities. You’ll also note that Apple accepts all of their old equipment back for recycling. Dell and HP committed to that but no one is verifying their actions just the fact that they made a pledge.

  6. Why don’t the GreenNazi’s go after better targets like Google and Facebook who have much larger data centers and are doing nothing to make them use renewable energy sources.

    I say tell the GreenNazi’s to wise up if you want better more Politicly Correct targets Google, Facebook and Amazon will gain you much more publicity and you’ll actually then have real targets. Apple has been in the planning and implementation phase of Green Energy for the entire company operations.

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