The announcement, which was posted on Apple’s website, follows protests against Apple by Greenpeace activists who criticized the company for powering its iCloud using coal-fired power plants. Apple received the fifth-lowest score in Greenpeace’s How Clean is Your Cloud?, a report that compares energy choices from global IT and Internet companies.
Apple will produce about 60 percent of renewable power for the site from solar and fuel cells installed at the data center. The remaining 40 percent will be purchased from local and regional sources, Apple said. The company plans to partner with NC GreenPower, an independent nonprofit, to increase local renewable energy production through North Carolina.
Apple is installing solar panels from California-based SunPower on a 100-acre site located across the street from the data center. The computer giant said solar panels also will be installed on another 100-acre site located a few miles away. Together, the two solar farm sites will produce 84 million kWh of energy each year.
When the company’s biogas-powered 5 MW fuel cell installation comes online later this year, it will start providing more than 40 million kWh of energy a year. California-based Bloom Energy is the fuel cell provider.
In all, Apple will produce 124 million kWh a year from its onsite renewable energy sources, enough to power the equivalent of 10,874 homes.
Apple said it will register the renewable energy generated by its solar arrays and fuel cell installations with the North Carolina Renewable Tracking System established by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.
Apple has previously revealed details in its 2012 facilities report about its renewable energy power plans for the Maiden data center as well as its other operations around the world. Apple has said it has a goal of net zero energy consumption for its corporate operations, which are defined as all non-retail store buildings, including offices and data centers.
Apple said in the 2012 report that its other data centers in Austin, Texas; Elk Grove, Calif.; Cork, Ireland; and Munich, Germany are all powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Apple’s newest data center in Prineville, Oregon will also be powered using locally sourced renewable power.