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Aerial photos show Apple's massive NC solar farm near completion

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
New photos captured from the sky show that Apple's massive solar farm set to power its North Carolina data center is almost finished.

Solar 1


The aerial images were captured by WCNC-TV and published by GigaOm this week. They offer a birds-eye view of the new expansive facility located adjacent to Apple's data center in Maiden, N.C.

The images show that major progress has been made since earlier this year, when Wired commissioned aerial photos of the property. When it becomes operational, the 100-acre solar farm will be the largest of its kind in the country.

The photos show only one of the solar farms that Apple is planning. A second facility, also 100 acres, will also be located a few miles away.

Together, the solar facilities will supply 84 million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy annually. The solar array will allow the data center to use 100 percent renewable energy by the end of this year.

Solar 2


The solar plants will also be supported by a 5-megawatt fuel cell installation that will open later this year. Apple has said it will be the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country, and will be powered by 100 percent biogas.

Apple also announced earlier this year that it is working with a state nonprofit organization to increase local renewable energy production.
post #2 of 28
Pretty freakin awesome. There should be a press release coming from Greenpeace congratulating Apple any time now.

Not.
post #3 of 28
PS- the AI new piece hasn't been posted yet, but Samsung got slapped down again at the ITC this afternoon:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/samsung-apple-patent-idUSL1E8KDLMI20120914?type=marketsNews
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

Pretty freakin awesome. There should be a press release coming from Greenpeace congratulating Apple any time now.
Not.

Nah, they'll just come up with something else that bugs them like how much of [fill in the blank with some nasty chemical] that was used to make all of the solar panels or how they destroyed the ecosystem to build it.

 

I do wonder though, will the Cloud will work when there are clouds?  lol.gif

post #5 of 28
Great Job Apple!!!
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

Pretty freakin awesome. There should be a press release coming from Greenpeace congratulating Apple any time now.
Not.

 

Don't worry even if they do give praise (don't see it happening) it will be offset by the environmentalists crying about the destruction of pristine land, animal rights people complaining about all of the bunnies that were chased away, and finally just think of all of the harmful emissions given off during production of those solar panels...

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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #7 of 28
It really shows how much real-estate is needed in order to power facilities. Wow. Imagine a small city. Holy cow.
An Apple man since 1977
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An Apple man since 1977
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post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

Pretty freakin awesome. There should be a press release coming from Greenpeace congratulating Apple any time now.
Not.

No No No....they've cut far too many trees and destroyed a local ecosystem, all in the name of electricity. 

 

 

/s

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #9 of 28
What a stupid waste of land. 100 acres of nature used up just to make a few idiots happy.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

No No No....they've cut far too many trees and destroyed a local ecosystem, all in the name of electricity. 


/s

So yer sayin the Sierra Club is gonna be al over this? And it'll be Green Peace chaining themselves to solar panels?
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What a stupid waste of land. 100 acres of nature used up just to make a few idiots happy.

It is different in the city where we have massive parking lots for shopping centers that could be covered with collectors and provide shade for the cars at the same time. Datacenters probably use more electricity per square meter than just about any other facility I can think of.

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post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


So yer sayin the Sierra Club is gonna be al over this? And it'll be Green Peace chaining themselves to solar panels?

 

Somewhere in that forest of solar panels is a homeless Spotted Owl.

 

I can see all these reflectors throwing the sun's energy back into outer space and plunging the earth back into an ice age. You read it here first, folks.   /s

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
 
The solar plants will also be supported by a 5-megawatt fuel cell installation that will open later this year. Apple has said it will be the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country, and will be powered by 100 percent biogas.

 

Imagine how much more efficient the fuel cells would be had they built this in Washington DC.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #14 of 28

The panels are from SunPower, based in California. If you do some research on panel manufacturers these guys are making the absolute best and efficient ones on the market, if I am not mistaken.

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

 

Imagine how much more efficient the fuel cells would be had they built this in Washington DC.

I see what you did there..  ;-)

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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

 

Don't worry even if they do give praise (don't see it happening) it will be offset by the environmentalists crying about the destruction of pristine land, animal rights people complaining about all of the bunnies that were chased away, and finally just think of all of the harmful emissions given off during production of those solar panels...

 

The fact is, it does look like a pretty striking amount of forest was cut down for this.  I'm not passing judgment - and in fact all environmental decisions come with up-sides and down-sides (for instance, banning clearcutting changes the ratio of tree species from their natural / historic levels, in favor of shade-loving species).  I'm just saying it is a pretty striking image.

post #17 of 28
I like how most of the panels are cloud-covered...
post #18 of 28
I'm all for green power. Heck, even solar power. I was never, ever a fan though of the kind of land-destroying "solar farms" like this. This is crazy. I'd take green forests over solar farms any day!!

How many hundreds of thousands of acres in bare rooftops do we have in a typical large cityjQuery181010023501771502197_1347668162783 Instead of laying waste to pristine forests, and human encroachment on yet another level, why don't we mandate that all roofs (both residential and commercial) have solar panels installed?? We we not need to do this kind of mass-destruction.

Sure, there's logistical issues and the get-off-my-lawn mentality to overcome, but in the end, having each structure generating its own power is in the long run a more stable, and consistent source.
post #19 of 28
Wow, what are all those dark green areas off in the distance? Oh yeah forests that Apple hasn't yet cut.

This shows full ignorance of the environment and the problems with emissions. It also explains why I'll not be buying any Apple product until whoever manages this kind of absurd development wises up to science
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by docpops View Post

The panels are from SunPower, based in California. If you do some research on panel manufacturers these guys are making the absolute best and efficient ones on the market, if I am not mistaken.

Do you know what they are doing for energy storage? My home system will soon pass 17 MW produced in two and three-quarter years.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #21 of 28
Originally Posted by DrAlexC View Post
Wow, what are all those dark green areas off in the distance? Oh yeah forests that Apple hasn't yet cut.
This shows full ignorance of the environment and the problems with emissions. It also explains why I'll not be buying any Apple product until whoever manages this kind of absurd development wises up to science

 

Before I start laughing, I want to know if you're making a joke. You really ought to add a sarcasm tag if you are, since I realize some people are silly enough to have this opinion, and we made fun of it earlier in the thread.


Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
…why don't we mandate that all roofs (both residential and commercial) have solar panels installed??
 

Because I (an individual, and/or a business) can't be made to pay for something like that. The idea's fine, but unless it's cheap enough as to cost no more than the standard procedure for wiring a building initially, it's not happening. On top of that there's NO way it will be done if it's forced on all buildings, not just new ones. 

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #22 of 28

Greenpeace has its international headquarters in the Netherlands, a country that produces close to nothing in renewable energy.

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

I like how most of the panels are cloud-covered...

Actually, solar panels can produce power even when there are clouds. Not as much, but they don't shut down entirely unless it's REALLY dark.

That's why they use a correction factor based on how may days of full sun, how many days of partial clouds, etc when determining annual capacity and the required amount of storage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrAlexC View Post

Wow, what are all those dark green areas off in the distance? Oh yeah forests that Apple hasn't yet cut.
This shows full ignorance of the environment and the problems with emissions. It also explains why I'll not be buying any Apple product until whoever manages this kind of absurd development wises up to science

So what science are you referring to? Please do the detailed calculations of how Apple's decision to use solar instead of coal power is negative for the environment. Be sure to factor in destruction of some forest area as well as all the energy and other costs for production of solar panels as well as production of power plants to produce electricity from coal.

Show your work.


For those asking about the amount of land required, that's true for a facility like this. Data centers are massive energy users. For many industrial users and most residential users, covering the roof with solar cells would provide more than enough energy to cover their annual requirements (if they have adequate storage or are connected to the grid). We could supply a significant portion of our electricity needs from solar without cutting down a single tree.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What a stupid waste of land. 100 acres of nature used up just to make a few idiots happy.

I agree. I hate Green Peace. If they actually stood for environmentally sound existence, my opinion would be different.

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

For many industrial users and most residential users, covering the roof with solar cells would provide more than enough energy to cover their annual requirements (if they have adequate storage or are connected to the grid). We could supply a significant portion of our electricity needs from solar without cutting down a single tree.

Panels on the roof of a home is just ugly. I hate those satellite dishes as well. They do manufacture solar roofing materials which are more attractive but you need to design the house properly to orient it for maximum electricity production and the cost is probably a 15-20 year payback. Some electric companies will not reimburse you for power sent back to the grid and local storage in batteries is complicated and bulky. Solar power is only effective if the power company is allowing you to run your meter backward. The new digital meters don't actually run backwards. If you plan to get a plugin hybrid car, solar power is definitely a good system for recharging it. But it all depends on the power company.

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post #26 of 28
Code:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What a stupid waste of land. 100 acres of nature used up just to make a few idiots happy.

Hell yeah Suckah! I pity the China-dissin' fool what don't build a coal-fired generator on land like dat.

/s
post #27 of 28
Why does everyone have to demonize people that care about the earth? Environmentalist is not a bad word. Don't be a lemming and let the politicians use you. Caring about the planet's health should not be a divisive issue.

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post #28 of 28
Originally Posted by techno View Post
Why does everyone have to demonize people that care about the earth?

 

It's the nonsensical manner in which they care that demonizes them.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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