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Apple owns biggest private solar power system in US

Forget red apples. These Apples are green.

The iPhone maker announced on Friday that fully 75 percent of its corporate facilities and data centers are powered by energy from renewable sources, including solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power. That’s because Apple has built the nation’s largest privately owned solar array for its Maiden, N.C., data center.

“In 2012, we completed construction on the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array on land surrounding the data center,” the company disclosed on Friday, announcing plans to shoot for 100 percent renewable power sources. The 100-acre, 20-megawatt facility can produce 42 million kWh of renewable energy each year, Apple said.

“And we’re currently building a second 20-MW solar photovoltaic facility on nearby land that should be operational in late 2013.”

Apple also operates a 10-MW fuel cell installation at Maiden, which uses biogas to create 83 million kWh of energy — it’s the largest such facility not operated by a power company in the country, the company claimed.

Greenpeace International senior IT analyst Gary Cook applauded the company for how far it has come, while also noting the challenges still ahead.
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