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Apple buys 200 acres of land for $3M to build second NC solar farm

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Apple has purchased another 200 acres in North Carolina in order to build another solar farm to help power its massive iCloud data center.

The $3 million land deal was detailed on Thursday by the Hickory Daily Record, which revealed that Apple will buy nearly 220 total acres in North Carolina's Catawba County. The property a few miles away from Apple's data center is expected to house a second solar farm that will produce 42 million kWh of electricity.

The new facility will be located adjacent to a new North Carolina Data Campus, a multi-jurisdictional facility that will add infrastructure to the area in an attempt to attract other companies looking to build data centers.

Apple's plans for its second solar farm are coming together as the company is nearing completion on the first massive facility. The 100-acre solar farm is set to go online later this year and will be the largest of its kind in the country.

Solar 1


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.

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.
post #2 of 19

Has any one done the math at to how much money it cost to maintain these facilities?  It has to be so much less than what lets say IBM spends on their data facilities.

 

1) Labor.

2) Cleaning the solar panels.

3) Upkeep on the grounds.  Removing the weeds and so on.

4) Security.

5) All other matters.

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post #3 of 19
I am sure Greenpeace will complain that Apple's plans do not provide for 200% of their power needs.
post #4 of 19

I totally support green energy, however I do NOT support this land-hogging method though.  If every large company decided to do this, we'd have no more forests sucking up carbon.  This is wasteful.

I still believe if the federal government mandated that all structures (both commercial and residential) have solar panels installed on their roof, and pump excess back into the grid it would be a far better way to conserve precious land.  I hate government getting on my lawn, but this would be the exception and for the greater good.

We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.

Next thing would be to make solar panels in a much more environmental way.  Current methods aren't very green either.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I totally support green energy, however I do NOT support this land-hogging method though.  If every large company decided to do this, we'd have no more forests sucking up carbon.  This is wasteful.


I still believe if the federal government mandated that all structures (both commercial and residential) have solar panels installed on their roof, and pump excess back into the grid it would be a far better way to conserve precious land.  I hate government getting on my lawn, but this would be the exception and for the greater good.


We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.


Next thing would be to make solar panels in a much more environmental way.  Current methods aren't very green either.

There's a lot to be said for that.

However, it's not clear that Apple will be doing massive logging. Much of the land in NC was logged years ago and is currently farm land.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #6 of 19
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.

 

And the same of unused desert.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I totally support green energy, however I do NOT support this land-hogging method though.  If every large company decided to do this, we'd have no more forests sucking up carbon.  This is wasteful.

I still believe if the federal government mandated that all structures (both commercial and residential) have solar panels installed on their roof, and pump excess back into the grid it would be a far better way to conserve precious land.  I hate government getting on my lawn, but this would be the exception and for the greater good.

We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.

Next thing would be to make solar panels in a much more environmental way.  Current methods aren't very green either.

As long as you pay to put those panels on my roof and to take care of them.

 

The government could probably easily get major commercial buildings to do this. 

But the average american and a small to low-mid size company can not afford the price tag, even on a small roof. (You can argue that they will get the money back, but they can't afford it outright)

 

Solar panels are also not very efficient ATM ( i believe less than 20% usually). Technology should make them more efficient and cheaper. 

post #8 of 19
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

Solar panels are also not very efficient ATM ( i believe less than 20% usually). Technology should make them more efficient and cheaper. 

 

I thought the best were ~41%.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I thought the best were ~41%.

According to wiki:

" Typical solar panels have an average efficiency of 15%, with the best commercially available panels at 21%."

Looking at other sources, the average does seem to be in the 15-18% range

(Kind in mind, as efficiency goes up, so does cost)

post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post
According to wiki:

" Typical solar panels have an average efficiency of 15%, with the best commercially available panels at 21%."

Looking at other sources, the average does seem to be in the 15-18% range

(Kind in mind, as efficiency goes up, so does cost)

 

Wow, step it up, solar panel makers*. Dunno why I thought it was better than that… Is solar at least cheaper per kilowatt than coal/gas? I remember reading that a few years ago. Thanks for the clarification.

 

*OR IS THAT POWERIST TO SAY. I'M CONFUSED.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...The property a few miles away from Apple's data center is expected to house a second solar farm that will produce 42 million kWh of electricity.

 

That should be "42 million kWh per year", or, "4800 kW".

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Wow, step it up, solar panel makers*. Dunno why I thought it was better than that… Is solar at least cheaper per kilowatt than coal/gas? I remember reading that a few years ago. Thanks for the clarification.

 

*OR IS THAT POWERIST TO SAY. I'M CONFUSED.

 

Sometimes it can be shown that way by people who support solar panels

 

As far as the price goes, it depends on how you look at it. Over a 1-2 year span? No, not at all. Over 20 year span? From what I know (and I admit i have limited knowledge here) yes, you make your money back in savings. 

The issue tends to be the initial investment. 

Which I am all for solar panels but to place them as a full replacement for coal for the average american is just foolish.

A balanced approach is best for the economy. 

Large companies like Apple should use these things and Americans who know they can afford it.

But advancements will increase efficiency (providing faster payback for the investment) and reduce the initial investment.

Plus America needs a cheaper, higher efficiency solar panel to beat out china (i understand they have a near monopoly?)

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

According to wiki:

" Typical solar panels have an average efficiency of 15%, with the best commercially available panels at 21%."

Looking at other sources, the average does seem to be in the 15-18% range

(Kind in mind, as efficiency goes up, so does cost)


The efficiency of the panels only determines how much space they take.  You can get more power for less money by using panels that are cheaper per watt but are lower efficiency.  Only if space is at a premium (it is not in NC) would you opt for more efficient panels. 

 

With coal (efficiency of 35% or so) the difference is how much coal you need to provide to get the same power.  I would rather me downwind from a 10% efficiency solar plant then a 40% efficient coal plant. 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeltsBear View Post


The efficiency of the panels only determines how much space they take.  You can get more power for less money by using panels that are cheaper per watt but are lower efficiency.  Only if space is at a premium (it is not in NC) would you opt for more efficient panels. 

 

With coal (efficiency of 35% or so) the difference is how much coal you need to provide to get the same power.  I would rather me downwind from a 10% efficiency solar plant then a 40% efficient coal plant. 

 

Coal plants these days tend to be pretty clean (clearly not as clean as solar).

 

You have to remember that trees can not grow where those panels now are. Since everyone is very worried about CO2 emissions (though humans account for only like .12% of of CO2 emissions and CO2 levels follow temperature changes, anyway), those trees can not longer create O2 out of CO2. 

 

You also need to factor in the fossil fuels used to construct them.  etc...   I'm just pointing out that they are not as "Green" as noted

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I totally support green energy, however I do NOT support this land-hogging method though.  If every large company decided to do this, we'd have no more forests sucking up carbon.  This is wasteful.

I still believe if the federal government mandated that all structures (both commercial and residential) have solar panels installed on their roof, and pump excess back into the grid it would be a far better way to conserve precious land.  I hate government getting on my lawn, but this would be the exception and for the greater good.

We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.

Next thing would be to make solar panels in a much more environmental way.  Current methods aren't very green either.

 

I agree with most of what you are saying with the exception of the government interfering.  It seems like a lot of acreage just wiped out for these panels.  I am all for renewable energy when it makes sense, but it seems like a no-win situation for Apple.  If you go the solar route, all of the tree people will complain about wiping out the forests.  If you go the fossil fuel route, then those people whine.  

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

I agree with most of what you are saying with the exception of the government interfering.  It seems like a lot of acreage just wiped out for these panels.  I am all for renewable energy when it makes sense, but it seems like a no-win situation for Apple.  If you go the solar route, all of the tree people will complain about wiping out the forests.  If you go the fossil fuel route, then those people whine.  

We just that darn Fusion Power ASAP.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

We have literally hundreds of millions of acres of rooftops that are not utilized that we could put to use.

 

Take a look at the picture.

 

See the roof on the white building, look at it, see the solar panels, look at them, look at the roof, look at the panels.

 

Now can you see why there might be a slight problem with this?

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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

We just that darn Fusion Power ASAP.
Fusion power is non-renewable. Solar is the answer, but it should be collected in space and beamed back.
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
Fusion power is non-renewable. Solar is the answer, but it should be collected in space and beamed back.

 

Oh, yeah, you want to talk about transmission loss, that's how we talk about transmission loss.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
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