Apple iCloud now powered by solar panels and fuel cells

22 Mar. 2013 Enterprise Tech News

Solar Panel

Apple now uses clean power sourced via on-site solar farm and fuel cells farm for powering its iCloud services, handled at the Maiden data center, North Carolina.

The solar panel farm and adjacently lying fuel cell farms are now providing nearly 60% of the power to Apple’s $1 billion, 500,000 square-foot data center in Maiden, North Carolina. It was revealed by Apple in a new environmental report, that this clean power project is a part of its plans of using 100% clean power for each of its data centers.

The largest US data center of Apple (at Maiden), supporting internet storage and its service hosting iCloud product, produces around 167 million kWh from these renewable energy farms. The solar panel farm and fuel cell installations are provided by the Silicon Valley start-up Bloom Energy. The company’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, said that they are the largest, non-utility power-generating facilities of their kind in the US.

He also said that many of Apple’s other corporates have been shifted to operate completely on green power, such as those in California, Cork, Texas, Austin, Ireland and Sacramento. The company is currently set to build a 20 MW solar farm at its Maiden facility with solar panels supplied by Sun Power, apart from its already existing one.

The iCloud services powered at the Maiden data center are set to increase the availability of music, media and other applications for its users, over its cloud computing infrastructure. In other words, the server that powers the process of you taking a backup of your data could be using fuel cell or solar power.

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