Apple is planning to build a big solar power plant in Nevada to help run its new data center near Reno.
The company has recently built a couple of 20 megawatt solar arrays for its North Carolina data center (pictured), so this will be an extension of Apple’s stated commitment to renewable energy. This project will be of similar size to the North Carolina solar arrays.
Apple recently confirmed with Gigaom that it will be building the new project next to the new data center. The facility will be called the Ft. Churchill Solar Array, and will be able to deliver 18 to 20 megawatts of power.
Unusually, the new solar project will consist of solar mirrors and well as solar panels. Such mirrors concentrate the sunlight onto the panels up to seven times usual strength, so more power is able to be generated. Apple is working with utility NV Energy, and with company SunPower on the construction and engineering.
In an effort to use as much renewable energy as possible, while the solar plant is being built Apple will use geothermal power from the local area. One of the reasons the company is building the data center in this area is because of the ample renewable energy resources available. Once built, the solar plant will also be able to supply some power to the local grid, through its partnership with NV Energy and Nevada’s new green tariff program.
Apple has said that all of its other data centers use 100% renewable energy, and the company wants to continue to meet that target with this new center in Nevada.
Image: Apple built the largest end user-owned, onsite solar array in the United States
to help supply its data center in Maiden, North Carolina.