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Apple’s New iCloud Datacenter in Prineville Powered by ‘100% Renewable Energy’

Apple will invest about 250 million dollars in its new iCloud Datacenter in Prineville-Oregon. Recently Apple acquired 160 acres of land to build this iCloud datacenter, only a few steps away from Facebook’s Datacenter. Last Friday, the details of this arrangement were revealed.

A few weeks ago we reported about the environmental friendly power-supply for Apple’s iCloud Datacenter in Maiden-North Carolina. When this datacenter is fully completed, it will have a massive solar array and a biogas fuel-cell plant. This will generate about 60% of the required energy for the Maiden Datacenter. But for the new datacenter Apple is building in Prineville-Oregon, the goals are even more ambitious. According to Apple’s spokesman Kristin Huguet:

Maiden will soon be the greenest data center ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100 percent renewable energy.

Agreement iCloud Datacenter

Apple already confirmed in February that they were planning to build this huge, 100% green datacenter in Prineville, but The Associated Press revealed the details of the arrangements between the City of Prineville, Crook County and Apple. The agreement includes the following points:

  • Apple will pay Prineville and Crook County a yearly flat fee of $150.000 during 15 years
  • Apple will provide at least 35 jobs at the Prineville datacenter, with a payment of at least 150% of the average wage.
  • Apple will invest $250 million Dollar in the already acquired 160 acres of land
  • In return for this, Apple receives a property tax exemption for 15 years.

At this very moment, Apple is constructing a 10.000-square-foot modular data center: A pre-built structure that can be up-and-running in August this year. After finishing that, Apple will begin building the much larger facility, similar to the recently opened Facebook Datacenter, a few miles away.

New iCloud Datacenter neighbour of Facebook

Although Apple is working very hard to polish its ‘green’ reputation, Greenpeace says in his report ‘How Green Is Your Cloud?’, that the Maiden iCloud datacenter is overly reliant on dirty, coal-produced power. Apple responded via the New York Times stating that Greenpeace has its facts wrong, lacking any additional information with the ‘good’ facts:

In a statement issued in response to the report, Apple disclosed for the first time that the data center would consume about 20 million watts at full capacity - much lower than Greenpeace's estimate, which is 100 million watts. In territory served by Duke, a million watts is enough to power 750 to 1,000 homes.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, added that the company is building two large projects intended to offset energy use from the grid in North Carolina: an array of solar panels and a set of fuel cells.

Greenpeace also targets Amazon and Microsoft, trying to pressure them to use renewable energy sources to power their data centers. On the website of Greenpeace, you can find following this banner.

How Green Is Your Cloud

To see the total power consumption in perspective, Google announced last year that the company’s data centers consume enormous amounts of power: almost 260 million watts, or about a quarter of the output of a nuclear power plant.

100% Green iCloud Datacenter

Apple is planning to power the new Oregon Datacenter by 100% renewable energy. This can be achieved by building a huge array of solar panels and a biogas fuel plant, similar to the Maiden Data Center. But according to Jason Carr, Prineville’s Economic Development Manager:

It is also possible that Apple could achieve the same by signing up for long-term renewable power contracts from local power companies such as Central Electric, which generates a lot of hydroelectric power or Pacific Power, which runs a renewable energy program.

We will keep you informed with the newest developments on Apple's iCloud Datacenter.

[via BendBulletin, via Wired, via AppleInsider, via Greenpeace]

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