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Apple buys hydroelectric green energy project near Oregon data center

post #1 of 39
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Apple is expanding its use of clean energy to power its iCloud data centers, with the company's Prineville, Ore., facility now flanked by a small hydroelectric project acquired by the iPhone maker.


Hydroelectric system, via Oregon.gov.


The company's new purchase was revealed on Saturday by The Oregonian, which noted that initial proposals for the project indicated it would generate between 3 and 5 megawatts --?enough to power 2,000 to 3,500 homes, but still only a tiny amount of the power Apple will need to run the facility

The 45-mile project is located near Haystack Reservoir in a Jefferson County irrigation canal about 20 miles from Prineville. The price Apple paid for the project is unknown, but the previous owner, EBD Hydro, reportedly secured some $8.5 million in federal loans and grants to help finance it.

Apple's Oregon data center already utilizes wind energy, as does its California center. Apple also relies on the largest privately owned solar farm in the country for its Maiden, N.C., operation, while its upcoming Nevada center will utilize solar and geothermal energy.

Apple began construction of the Prineville facility in October of 2012, clearing and flattening the land where the two 338,000 square-foot buildings would eventually stand. Land preparation and construction are thought to have cost Apple around $68 million. Including server hardware, construction costs, and labor costs, the facility is expected to cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- perhaps billions.

And last September, it was revealed that Apple was looking to double the size of its Oregon data center, as the company was looking to purchase more land at a nearby location that would house a second structure of equal size. Apple is also paying some $150,000 each year to the governments of Prineville and Crook County in return for a 15-year property tax exemption.
post #2 of 39

I thought hydro power was generally not considered green energy, because damming rivers is bad for the wildlife. Or something.

post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

I thought hydro power was generally not considered green energy, because damming rivers is bad for the wildlife. Or something.

 

 

Nah, that only applies to cattle ranchers ruining it for a turtle.  Or something.

 

When it comes to "Green", let's just hope this purchase is better for Apple then Solyndra was for the taxpayer!

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post #4 of 39
I'm glad to see corporations taking the lead on green initiatives, instead of the government regulating for it.
post #5 of 39

Good for Apple, this isn't their first green purchase or project and it won't be their last.

Remind me again, when did we last hear about Google/Samsung/Facebook buying something that wasn't just to increase profits.

post #6 of 39
New meaning to the term "Apple-powered."

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post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I thought hydro power was generally not considered green energy, because damming rivers is bad for the wildlife. Or something.

Comparing large hydro to small hydro is like comparing Samsung to Apple.
post #8 of 39
Is it just me or does that dam look really, really small?¡

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post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Is it just me or does that dam look really, really small?¡


Could be that the hidden side is really really huge. 1wink.gif
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Good for Apple, this isn't their first green purchase or project and it won't be their last.
Remind me again, when did we last hear about Google/Samsung/Facebook buying something that wasn't just to increase profits.

Read the blogs that will hit the wire Sunday. Apple has just stepped its "toe" into the energy business.
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

I thought hydro power was generally not considered green energy, because damming rivers is bad for the wildlife. Or something.

If that's the criteria, then I guess that wind power is bad too, because it kills plenty of birds, eagles, bats etc.:smokey: 

 

And solar power melts birds.:lol:

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

I thought hydro power was generally not considered green energy, because damming rivers is bad for the wildlife. Or something.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

If that's the criteria, then I guess that wind power is bad too, because it kills plenty of birds, eagles, bats etc.:smokey: 

 

In California, large hydro (>30 MW) is not considered "renewable" or green. Small hydro is.

post #13 of 39
Bear in mind it only produces 3-5 megawatts.

To put that in perspective:
Hoover dam hydro plant produces 2080 megawatts
Niagara (at the falls) produces 4400 megawatts
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandor View Post

Bear in mind it only produces 3-5 megawatts.

 

Yes, but 3 MW, after you account for air conditioning and stuff, is still maybe 4,500 servers.

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Is it just me or does that dam look really, really small?¡


Not even a dam. Looks like they just route the water into a pipe and send it down a really big hill with the generator at the bottom to create power from the high speed water. You only need to dam water if you want to insure generation capacity. That also allows you to control the amount of power generated. You can release more water when you need more power.
post #16 of 39
I would consider this project 'green'. Why? Read the description. The project is a part of an existing irrigation system. So when the water is moved from a higher elevation to a lower elevation, you can either waste the energy potential or generate electricity from it. The water already has been taken out of the watershed and is in an irrigation canal. You may as well make the best of it.
post #17 of 39
I hope Tim Cook is not making these decisions based on some unfounded belief that the globe is warming and we're all going to die unless he saves us with green energy. Remember when he got all red-faced and shaky at the pure mention that global warming might not exist. It's just a portion of the energy a data center needs - and Apple needs a lot. Probably 100's of megawatts for a big data center. I don't think green energy usually pencils out - except hydroelectric.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerbear View Post

I hope Tim Cook is not making these decisions based on some unfounded belief that the globe is warming and we're all going to die unless he saves us with green energy. Remember when he got all red-faced and shaky at the pure mention that global warming might not exist. It's just a portion of the energy a data center needs - and Apple needs a lot. Probably 100's of megawatts for a big data center. I don't think green energy usually pencils out - except hydroelectric.

That's exactly what he is doing. (minus the hyperbole of "we're all going to die unless he saves us") Apple's green energy efforts haven't exactly been a secret.
post #19 of 39
Cut the crap. It's always about money. Producing its own energy saves them an absolute fortune, doing it in a green way saves them even more. As a bonus they get the green recognition. They have billions to throw at this and will never pay an electricity bill.
post #20 of 39
Usually hydro is considered harmful because of elevated water levels due to damming can leech harmful bacteria and rare earth metals into the water, this can kill fish and blah blah blah. It also destroys above ground wildlife habitat and blah blah blah. I find these arguments pretty weak... It's more about how people complain no matter what you try to do...
post #21 of 39

Apart from the initial cost of buying / building the site and equipment. Datacenter is just all about cooling and Server usage which equals to electricity usage. Apple can afford to throw some money in it for renewable electricity. Other then small maintenance fees Apple basically gets to run its Datacenter for free.

 

Which comes to think about it. The reason why Apple has been relatively slow in its DC expansion, is purely because they need to buy its ways into Renewable electricity generation.  And location and planning complicate the matter a lot.

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaba View Post

Cut the crap. It's always about money. Producing its own energy saves them an absolute fortune, doing it in a green way saves them even more. As a bonus they get the green recognition. They have billions to throw at this and will never pay an electricity bill.

Somebody asked Tim Cook to provide figures on that at the last shareholder meeting and he got quite annoyed, so I wouldn't be so sure. The local power company, that typically powers entire towns and/or cities, probably has economies of scale that make it cheaper to just buy from them than try to generate your own. I don't think it is all about money for Tim.

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Somebody asked Tim Cook to provide figures on that at the last shareholder meeting and he got quite annoyed, so I wouldn't be so sure. The local power company, that typically powers entire towns and/or cities, probably has economies of scale that make it cheaper to just buy from them than try to generate your own. I don't think it is all about money for Tim.
The initial outlay is huge, agreed but the savings on buying power in the long run will easily pay for the investment. It's all about the money, he's no saint he's a clear headed business man and this makes perfect sense on all levels.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by NailedToTheX View Post

Usually hydro is considered harmful because of elevated water levels due to damming can leech harmful bacteria and rare earth metals into the water, this can kill fish and blah blah blah. It also destroys above ground wildlife habitat and blah blah blah. I find these arguments pretty weak... It's more about how people complain no matter what you try to do...

Besides, hydro interferes with the natural workings of gravity!

A notable quote from the movie Network: Arthur Jensen - "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear?"

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post #25 of 39
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post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post
 

 

 

Nah, that only applies to cattle ranchers ruining it for a turtle.  Or something.

 

When it comes to "Green", let's just hope this purchase is better for Apple then Solyndra was for the taxpayer!


Take your nut job politics elsewhere. This site is about Apple.

post #27 of 39
I'm glad for Apple using clean and renewable energies 1smile.gif

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post #28 of 39
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post
Take your nut job politics elsewhere. This site is about Apple.

 

Seems a little silly to say that to only one side of the argument. And only on one thread. :lol:

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerbear View Post

I hope Tim Cook is not making these decisions based on some unfounded belief that the globe is warming and we're all going to die unless he saves us with green energy. Remember when he got all red-faced and shaky at the pure mention that global warming might not exist. It's just a portion of the energy a data center needs - and Apple needs a lot. Probably 100's of megawatts for a big data center. I don't think green energy usually pencils out - except hydroelectric.

Groan.

They're here too....
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerbear View Post

...based on some unfounded belief that the globe is warming...

Could you elaborate on this belief that the world is flat, I mean, that climate change doesn't exist?

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post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Seems a little silly to say that to only one side of the argument. And only on one thread. :lol:


It was the first one I noticed. Mostly you get the Samsung fanbois being anti-Apple which, although disgusting of them to invade the site, is still on topic. But when you start going off topic and being purely political, it gets old. His footer made it all politics, no Apple.

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Is it just me or does that dam look really, really small?¡
 


I am not sure that is the actual facility or the facility given as an example of small hydro on the oregon.gov web site. As far as the amount of energy that can be produced at a site, it depends on the water flow rate and the head (drop) of the water. You need a lot of flow if the drop is small but much less flow if the head is large. Equations for the power generated can be found here:

 

http://www.oregon.gov/energy/renew/pages/hydro/hydro_index.aspx

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaba View Post

The initial outlay is huge, agreed but the savings on buying power in the long run will easily pay for the investment. It's all about the money, he's no saint he's a clear headed business man and this makes perfect sense on all levels.

Here is part of his resopnse to an investor group when asked about Apples green initiatives. "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock." I'd say he's making things pretty clear.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDavid View Post


Here is part of his resopnse to an investor group when asked about Apples green initiatives. "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock." I'd say he's making things pretty clear.


That is the problem with only including snippets of responses. You don't get the full picture. For example, Cook also said in the same response

 

"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

 

It should be noted that the NCPPR's proposal only received 2.95% of the vote. The proposal was purely political. Fringe political at that. Why must everything be political for some people? The Mac Observer posted a longer article about the exchange. You may want to read it.

 

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tim-cook-soundly-rejects-politics-of-the-ncppr-suggests-group-sell-apples-s

post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDavid View Post

Here is part of his resopnse to an investor group when asked about Apples green initiatives. "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock." I'd say he's making things pretty clear.


That is the problem with only including snippets of responses. You don't get the full picture. For example, Cook also said in the same response

"When we work on making our devices

accessible by the blind," he said, "I don't consider the bloody ROI." He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

It should be noted that the NCPPR's proposal only received 2.95% of the vote. The proposal was purely political. Fringe political at that. Why must everything be political for some people? The Mac Observer posted a longer article about the exchange. You may want to read it.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/tim-cook-soundly-rejects-politics-of-the-ncppr-suggests-group-sell-apples-s

Obfuscation, conflation, cherry-picking of data, mis-attributions, mis-information etc. are standard OP for the climate-skeptic/-denial crowd. Best not to try and engage them.

They're like the Hare Krishnas of science and public policy. They won't -- can't -- let go.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post
 


It was the first one I noticed. Mostly you get the Samsung fanbois being anti-Apple which, although disgusting of them to invade the site, is still on topic. But when you start going off topic and being purely political, it gets old. His footer made it all politics, no Apple.

 

YOU are probably one who would look at my handle and apply dispersions about it, but you would only show your ignorance because you do not know its meaning.

 

And my footer wasn't made by me, but I read it elsewhere and I thought it was funny because it's true.  Yeah, it insinuates politics, but maybe if we had better governance the last decade, we'd have jobs, cash, and hope!  And news flash... it had "Steve Jobs" in it and you can't get more Apple then that!

 

Finally, I don't recall seeing, and I went through all six pages of posts, your critique of AppleInsider posting a story about Tim Cook tweeting passage for the "Employee Non-Discrimination Act, a proposed bill that would make it illegal for companies to discriminate in hiring based on gender identity or sexual orientation." on Friday, April 11th.

 

Tim has every right to tweet his feelings and belief about the matter, I'm not arguing that, however, it had nothing to do with Apple, other than the poster's ID, and yet was posted on an Apple site and SILENCE from one DaveN.  Tells me all I need to know.

 

And maybe if government didn't do stupid things like Solyndra and sending armed BLM after cattle ranchers while turning a blind eye to illegal border crossers as in "Control Our Borders, Not Our Ranchers", then there would be nothing for me to correlate to the AI's story and the poster who I commented on.  Ever think about that?!?

 

If you were to look at ALL my posts on AI, I dare say .0000001% have reference to slight insinuations of the politics of the day.  If AI had an issue they coulda, woulda, shoulda comment to me or censure me or whatever.  However, I will not give up my Constitutional rights to have may say regardless of the end consequence that may befall me.  I will not give up that right, not to AI and DEFINITELY not to you!

 

Lastly you say this isn't a place for such tidings.  I believe you said it gets boring…  I disagree that politics should only be talked about in political sites…  I will leave the following in its original format, but believe me, I could get very political with all the junk currently going on!

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #37 of 39
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post #38 of 39
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Originally Posted by GTBuzz View Post

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post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Could you elaborate on this belief that the world is flat, I mean, that climate change doesn't exist?

Count me amongst the climate-change questioners. The fact that the leading scientists informed us a few decades ago that we were entering an ice age gives me pause for thought. Climate is such a bloody complex thing. Maybe we're buggering it up; maybe there's a natural cycle. But we sure are buggering the environment, which is why I'm very pleased that Cook is taking such a strong lead in green energy. Amazon are particularly bad in relation.
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