Apple planning solar farm opposite NC data center

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Local permits reveal that Apple is looking to build a solar farm across from its massive data center in Maiden, N.C., a move that could address criticisms environmental groups have leveled at the company.



Catawba County permits have been issued giving Apple approval to begin preparations for the solar farm, the Charlotte Observer reported on Tuesday (via MacRumors).



The approved lot is 171 acres of vacant land on Startown Road that Apple has acquired. Local rumors had initially suggested that the site would be used for office space.



According to the report, engineering plans have yet to show details about the solar farm, as the permit is simply an early erosion control permit. County engineer Toni Norton said more information about Apple's plans would come when the company applies for a building permit.



The plans do, however, refer to the undertaking as "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded." It had previously been revealed that the data center was codenamed "Project Dolphin."







In April, environmental activist group Greenpeace criticized Apple for relying on "dirty" energy for its data center. The group accused the company of locating its center in an area with one of the dirtiest electrical grids in the country. According to local reports, Apple's power supplier for the center is Duke Energy, which uses mostly coal and nuclear plants, though it does have solar arrays setup in the county.



Though Apple's plans for a solar farm could create goodwill among environmental groups, the company is currently upsetting residents with preparations for it. Hickory Record reports that smoke from the process of clearing the lot is bothering the neighbors.



?The [sic] told us they would have a fire, and only do it when the wind?s blowing away,? said Zelda Vosburgh. ?They do it 24 hours a day. The house inside smells like smoke. I don?t know if it?s hurting us, breathing it 24 hours a day. Between the smell and the smoke, it?s bad.?



Vosburgh also said the smoke has increased wildlife activity around her house.



"It?s pushed everything out of the woods into the area here, I had a snake on my steps,? she said. ?I?ve seen rabbits and squirrels everywhere.?



According to her, Apple also burned property when it began construction of the data center two years ago.



Apple first announced its plans to build the server farm in Maiden, N.C. in July 2009. The $1 billion data center opened this spring and will support iTunes, MobileMe and Apple's new iCloud.



Rumors have also swirled that Apple plans to build a second data center next to the first. The current server farm already covers 500,000 square feet, an area five times larger than that of its data center in Newark, Calif.



Apple prides itself on using sustainable energy for its facilities, which include data centers. According to the company's website, just 2 percent of Apple's energy footprint comes from its facilities around the world. Currently, facilities in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Cork, Ireland use 100 percent renewable energy, saving as much as 21,500 metric tons of CO2e emissions.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    Let them Burn!!



    Then again solandra proved what big solar company's do
  • Reply 2 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post


    Let them Burn!!



    Then again solandra proved what big solar company's do



    Actually, Solyndra's solar tube technology would have been perfect for the white roof of Apple's data center.



    They wouldn't have had to clear anymore land which just adds to the greenhouse effect.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post


    Actually, Solyndra's solar tube technology would have been perfect for the white roof of Apple's data center.



    They wouldn't have had to clear anymore land which just adds to the greenhouse effect.



    "would have"



    Well never know now ha
  • Reply 4 of 62
    If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \



    I feel bad for the animals that are losing their habitat, but humans are always pushing wildlife to the brink. The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.
  • Reply 5 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.



    We could also expand human habitat beyond Earth, but no one wants to do it soon.
  • Reply 6 of 62
    Maybe they should add some windmills for when the sun is not shining!!!



  • Reply 7 of 62
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,559member
    Why would they use burning to clear land? Do they not have bulldozers in North Carolina? Burning is just primitive.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    bwikbwik Posts: 551member
    Presumably they will chainsaw a bunch of square miles of forest for this...
  • Reply 9 of 62
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,984member
    Does this mean iCloud will be inaccessible at night?
  • Reply 10 of 62
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Good for everyone. Good for the economy, apple and the locals. Good Job Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    ...God for the economy...



    Amen to that.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    If the rumor is true, I'd sure like to see that. I really like the idea of using the sun's energy to convert to electricity. It's a shame that most solar companies are crapping out over the last couple of years. As long as we can get carbon-based fossil fuel readily, nobody wants to be bothered investing into solar energy. \



    I feel bad for the animals that are losing their habitat, but humans are always pushing wildlife to the brink. The only thing that could be done about it is to control human population growth, but that's not gonna happen.



    This looks like a perfect time to talk about my birth control based on stupidity. We are all stupid in our own ways, but some people take it to an extreme that is harmful to others, the environment and make baby jebus cry. Fight the stupid it's the new war on drugs..
  • Reply 13 of 62
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    It would be much better for the environment to plant trees and reforest the land than to cover it with solar panels.
  • Reply 14 of 62
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,472member
    In my opinion environmental groups should kiss the ground Apple walks on. Because they are one of the most environmentally friendly companies in the entire world.
  • Reply 15 of 62
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post


    make baby jebus cry.



    Don't worry. I make baby jebus cry everyday. It's my hobby. At least baby jebus is real -- unlike the fairy tale fellow with a similar name who inspires the largest pedophile organization in the world.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    asciiascii Posts: 5,538member
    I am not a big believer in solar power. Apple's new UFO campus uses all natural gas, and I think that is what most companies will do (switch from coal to natural gas).
  • Reply 17 of 62
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I am not a big believer in solar power. Apple's new UFO campus uses all natural gas, and I think that is what most companies will do (switch from coal to natural gas).



    I agree. Natural Gas is way better than coal. Thinking of how coal is acquired. Not the best. From what I understand we have allot of Natural Gas. Clean burning and way more efficient than coal. Solar... I think solar is good in some ways but in others not so good. In the long run the panels degrade and have to be replaced. Also you have to clear land to support a large facility or factory. One could say wind gen is better in some areas. We will have to see.
  • Reply 18 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... The plans do, however, refer to the undertaking as "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded." It had previously been revealed that the data center was codenamed "Project Dolphin." ...



    Aren't there any indications that yet another data center will be hiding under these solar panels?
  • Reply 19 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    Don't worry. I make baby jebus cry everyday. It's my hobby. At least baby jebus is real -- unlike the fairy tale fellow with a similar name who inspires the largest pedophile organization in the world.



    Here's a novel idea....Next time how about you show us all just how clever you are by aiming that oh-so-eager-to-offend "wit" of yours toward that Mohammad Pedophile and the society of murdering terrorist head cutters he inspires?
  • Reply 20 of 62
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Next time how about you show us all just how clever you are by aiming that oh-so-eager-to-offend "wit" of yours toward that Mohammad Pedophile and the society of murdering terrorist head cutters he inspires?



    Is it your point that an organization pretending to be a religion for the purpose of mass murder is worse than an organization pretending to be a religion for the purpose of mass child rape? If so, then your point is well taken and, on an academic level, I agree with you, but both make my skin crawl.
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