Apple Plans for Solar Farm at Oregon Data Center

27 Feb 2014 by Technology

"Apple was recently offered the option to purchase a parcel of land nearby its Prineville, Ore. data center. According to The Oregonian, the tech giant is taking steps to build a large solar farm on the site.

Although the company has yet to own the adjacent 200 acre plot, the news source reported that the company is taking the necessary steps to construct a solar array there which would provide the power for its data center services. Apple recently received approval from local city and county officials to extend its data center tax exemptions, which would also include the solar farm once it is completed.

Local benefits
The Oregonian noted that Apple is by no means the first technology organization to construct a data center in the Prineville area. The state has attracted facility creations from Google, Facebook and Amazon as well due to its property tax exemptions through the enterprise zone program. The region also boasts no sales tax on IT equipment used in server rooms.

These savings could be very beneficial to the company, as the funding could be put toward the massive energy bills that data centers are known to create. While Apple hasn't released figures as to the exact amount of energy the Prineville data center consumes, experts predict that it will match or exceed that of Google's 37 megawatt structure in The Dalles. Google's data center reportedly requires as much power as 27,000 residential homes to ensure the availability of its data center services.

Continued hiring
MacRumors contributor Juli Clover stated that during the process to construct its solar array, Apple has continued hiring personnel to man the 338,000 square foot data center. The facility, which began being constructed in October 2012, utilizes a modular data center design and is nearing completion.

Prineville mayor Betty Roppe recently confirmed Apple's solar farm plans in a statement, stating that the company's enterprise zone agreement will defer taxes for the next 15 years.

""My understanding is that they will create the solar farm and then they will sell that back to the companies they actually get their electricity from,"" Roppe said.

North Carolina paves the way
This arrangement is similar to one the company already utilizes at its North Carolina facility, which already has an established solar farm nearby. The solar array reportedly cost the company between $150 million and $200 million to build, and boasts 20 megawatts of available power, according to GigaOM."

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