Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apple’s Plan for Clean Energy

Apple is planning an expansion on its use of clean energy in order to power its iCloud data centers by using the facility of its company’s Prineville, Oregon which has now been connected by a small hydroelectric project acquired by the makers of iPhone.

This report had been revealed by The Oregonian and its initial proposals for the project showed that it would generate between three and five megawatts, sufficient to power around 2,000 to 3,500 homes though Apple will need only a small amount of the power to run the facility. The project which is 45 mile long is located near Haystack Reservoir in a Jefferson County irrigation canal around 20 miles from Prineville and the price paid by Apple for the project is not known though the earlier owner, EBD Hydro, it was reported had secured around $8.5 million in federal loans as well as grants in helping to finance it.

The company had planned to begin work late 2011 though it was not clear if the facility was operative and Apple had declined to comment while EBD remained unresponsive to inquiries to the deal. The Oregon data center of Apple has already been using wind energy as its California center and Apple relied on the largest privately owned solar farm in the country of its Maiden N.C. activity while its upcoming center at Nevada will be using solar and geothermal energy.

Power Data Center with Renewable Energy

Apple plans to power its data center entirely with renewable energy like its other leading data center operations stating that it buys its local renewable wind energy from Prineville facility and the company is exploring the possibility to acquire land for a huge solar array.

Apple had started construction of the Prineville facility in October 2012, flattening and clearing the site, where the two 338,000 square foot construction would eventually stand and the land preparation with the construction have cost Apple around $68 million inclusive of server hardware, construction cost together with labor costs.

 The facility is presumed to cost hundreds of millions of dollars or could be also billions. Additional plans were also on; to take the 45 mile project offline when the irrigation canal would be shut in the month of winter and hence Apple’s hydro deal would be providing a small portion of the company’s electricity consumption.

Plans to Double the size of Oregon Data Center

Most of the big internet companies operate data centers in Oregon; include Facebook, Google and Amazon who are drawn in part by the low power prices of the region and to a greater extent by tax exemption on their expensive computers and a big data center would cost $1 billion or even more to equip.

It was also revealed that last September, Apple was on the look out to double the size of its Oregon data center and that the company was planning to purchase additional land at a nearby site which would house a second structure of similar size.

It was also reported that Apple would be paying around $10,000 every year to the government of Prineville and Crook County for a 15 year property tax exemption.

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