Apple to Install Solar, Fuel Cell Systems at U.S. Data Center

Apple Inc. is installing a solar power plant and fuel-cell system at its North Carolina data center.

The 20-megawatt solar energy project is being built on 100 acres (40 hectares) at its Maiden data center together with a 5-megawatt fuel cell power plant running on biogas, Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday in its 2012 Environmental Update facilities report.

Located about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Charlotte, the plants will supply about 82 million kilowatt-hours of power to the data center that was completed last year and are part of Apple’s goal of achieving net zero energy use.

Last year Apple used 493 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, it said in the report. The cost of the plants wasn’t disclosed. Kristin Huguet, Apple’s corporate communications manager, wouldn’t say which companies are providing the renewable energy equipment or when the systems will enter operation.

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