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Today in Cleantech

We finally got some details on what kind of renewable energy project Apple plans to build adjacent to its new billion dollar North Carolina data center. I had been skeptical that we’d see anything of significant scale but it turns out that Apple is planning a very large 20 megawatt solar farm, one of the biggest solar projects for a corporate end user. Providing 42 million kilowatt hours per year, the solar project may well be able to supply a significant portion of the power Apple will need. Given that Apple went to NC for cheap power, its last minute moves to generate its own clean power speaks to 1) the fact that companies have PR problems when they fuel their data centers with dirty power (NC is all nuclear and coal) and 2) solar is getting increasingly attractive, pricing wise, and it’s less of a stretch for a large company to consider generating its own off-the-grid power.