Apple to build 20 MW solar panel farm to power Reno, Nevada data center

Apple continues to be strongly committed to its clean energy drive, with plans to build a new solar panel farm to power their new Reno data center approved by the Nevada state utility commission.

Apple solar farm Reno data center Nevada Apple to build 20 MW solar panel farm to power Reno, Nevada data center
Image Credit: Apple

A new report by GigaOM says that Apple is planning to work in tandem with the Nevada state utility company NV Energy to build a 20-megawatt solar panel farm to power their data center at Reno, Nevada. Much like the company’s other solar panel farms, this new 20 MW farm will be built by solar power company SunPower.

All of Apple’s data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using 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. When completed, the 137 acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.

GigaOM further reports that the new solar panels will differentiate from standard, existing panels as they will include mirrors that concentrate the sun’s rays. This will help increase the concentration of the sun’s rays, which in turn will allow for generation of increased amounts of energy. I may not love your products Apple, but I sure do love your 100% renewable energy drive. The Reno data center is currently powered by a local geothermal power plant, in case you’re wondering.

Apple Renewable Energy Apple to build 20 MW solar panel farm to power Reno, Nevada data center

We’re excited to be in partnership with Apple on a new solar energy project, the first project under our new Green Energy Program.  This program allows customers such as Apple to choose to have a greater proportion of their energy coming from renewables than the law requires, without having a cost impact on our other customers.

Another piece of good news is that once SunPower completes construction of the solar panel farm, and the farm is fully functional, the facility will provide power not only for the data center but also to the local grid.

Source: GigaOM

A 3rd year engineering student, Preetam Nath has a keen interest in following the smartphone and tablet sphere. He plays games on his favorite old PC when he's not doing anything. In the mornings, you can often find him at the gym.