Like many content companies, Apple operates data centers on both coasts of the United States. It owns data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, California, and Nevada. The company also leases space from colocation providers, but the bulk of its data center capacity is in company-owned facilities.
Apple announced that the electricity supporting the iDataCenter in Maiden would either be supplied by renewable energy generated on-site, or by directly purchasing clean, renewable energy generated by local and regional sources. And the company has honored its promises over the years.
The company built three solar farms, each valued at around $10 million, as well as a 10-megawatt fuel cell installation, valued at least at $4 million. One solar farm is across the street from the Maiden data center, while another solar farm is in Conover and the third one is in Claremont. The 200-acre array of photovoltaic solar panels serves as a supplement to its utility power feed from Duke Energy as well as fuel cells from Bloom Energy that use biogas from nearby landfills to generate electricity. Apple says its generation facilities at the Maiden, N.C. facility produce enough on-site renewable energy to power the equivalent of 14,00 homes.
Apple's focus on sustainability extends to the construction methods using in building the North Carolina facility. The Apple data center in Maiden has earned Platinum, the highest level attainable under the LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for energy efficient buildings. The company used 14 percent of recycled materials in its construction process, and diverted 93 percent of construction waste from landfills. Apple also sourced 41 percent of purchased materials within 500 miles of the Maiden site, which reduced the environmental impact from trucking materials over long distances.
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