Apple (News - Alert) has been ahead of the game for many years due to a keen ability to recognize trends and expand upon them with innovative solutions. The company’s late founder and his team created products that changed the way people listen to music and interact with personal computers and our expectations of what a phone should offer. Believe it or not, Apple’s innovations even carried over to data center power.
According to a Reuters (News - Alert) piece, Apple is now addressing something not quite as sexy as the latest iPhone (News - Alert), but it’s certainly important and likely to change the way new data centers are designed.Apple’s top U.S. data center is going to run off of 100 percent renewable energy by the turn of the year, a move which will reduce the environmental impact of its data center power consumption.
It’s no secret that data centers are becoming increasingly more valuable due to the rate at which data is being created. That data needs a home. The challenge here is that the newest data centers designed to handle this massive amount of data, which outgrows expectations annually, are consuming massive amount of data center power to ensure they are running efficiently.
Apple’s plans for its data center be constructed in North Carolina includes solar energy, supplying as much as 84 million kilowatts of energy on an annual basis. The solar farms powering the data center will include top-notch cells as well as tracking technology that will make the most of the array’s ability to capture energy from the sun.
But the data center can’t rely on solar power alone (despite the fact that each farm is a staggering 250 acres each). Apple is also working on a fuel plant that is focused on biogases.
The company made previous announcements regarding its plans to use renewable energy to supply its data center power, but the recent announcement highlights a plan for solar usage that is twice the size of what was originally expected of Apple.
And, Apple’s North Carolina project isn’t the only one in the works. The company is also constructing a center in Oregon where data center power will be provided through renewable means.
The news of these two data centers utilizing renewable data center power sparked a boost to stock in various public renewable energy companies the day the announcement was made.Of course, Apple won’t be using all of their power. The data centers are simply too big.
Some of the power they use will have to come off the grid, but the company assures all parties that the data center power used from the grid will be from local renewable sources of energy.
With Apple growing larger than ever with its popular laptops, tablet computers, and smartphone, its decision to go green is likely to have an effect that others in the industry will follow. After all, it isn’t the first time Apple turned heads with innovation and others jumped on board. Let’s just hope this move brings success for more than just Apple.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin