By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 07/08/2014
When it rains, it pours. And when the sun shines, particularly in North Carolina, it powers Apple's data centers. As Apple increasingly relies on such data centers for iCloud, Siri, and more, they are also increasingly relying on the sun to power those data centers. And now Apple has struck a deal with Claremont City Council in North Carolina to setup a 100-acre solar farm, and spend up to $55 million to build it. This is in addition to the other solar powered Apple data centers in Maiden, NC.
Apple prides itself in being ecofriendly, and has seen a sharp turnaround from a decade ago when they were called out by environmentalists for unfriendly policies. Since then, Apple has launched several initiatives, including recycling efforts, cutting back on hazardous materials, and turning to renewable energy where possible. Apple reports that all of their data centers now use renewable energy sources such as solar or biogas, and 94 percent of their corporate facilities do as well.
While $55 million will be spent in the local economy to build the structure, over five years, the Apple facility will only add about 75 jobs. Still, its impact is a positive one, energy-wise, and shows that a company can be eco-friendly, and profitable. Super profitable in fact!
I have to smile remembering when I worked at Sun Microsystems in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At one point, Apple's stock was so low and Sun was flying so high, Sun tried to buy Apple. Eventually, Oracle bought Sun, and Apple is spending millions harnessing the actual sun!