Apple opts for solar power for new iCloud data centre

Green IT?

Apple has confirmed its new iCloud data centre in Reno, Nevada will be powered exclusively by a purpose-built solar energy farm.

According to the latest integrated-resource filing from Nevadan public utility company NV Energy, Apple has agreed to pay for the construction of the Fort Churchill Solar Array.

If approved, the 137-acre facility will be built in Yerington, to the south of Apple's Reno data centre, will produce 18 megawatts of photovoltaic energy.

It is understood that as well as financing the project, Apple will also pay for energy it receives from the array, with surplus electricity being sold to residents in the surrounding area.

The plan has been roundly commended by both local politicians and environmental organisations.

Nevada state governor Brian Sandoval said: "I am proud to welcome Apple's proposed solar array to Lyon County.

"This project, which will create hundreds of construction jobs in Yerington and increase our state's renewable energy output, will provide renewable energy for Apple's future data centre in Reno."

Greenpeace International's senior IT Analyst Gary Cook commented: "Apple's latest investment in solar energy in Nevada shows that the company is making good on its promise to power its iCloud with 100 per cent renewable energy.

"With Google, Facebook and now Apple all announcing major new deals in recent months for new renewable energy to power their data centre operations, the race to build an internet powered by renewable energy is clearly in full swing."

Cook added: "Microsoft and Amazon both of which still power their internet using the dirty electricity that causes global warming ought to take notice."

In a statement Apple said the Fort Churchill Solar Array will use "the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels".

"This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy," the company concluded.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialise in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.