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Apple Promises 100 Percent Green Data Center

By - Source: Wired | B 33 comments

Apple may be targeted by Greenpeace for using dirty coal to power its iCloud, but the company promises that it will soon be operating a new data center in Prineville, Oregon which will be running on 100 percent renewable energy.

Apparently, construction on a 10,000 sq. ft. "modular" facility has begun already, but the company is planning to add much bigger buildings on the 160-acre parcel in the near future. While not confirmed, the renewable energy source for the data center appears to be solar power. Apple is already building a somewhat-green data center in Maiden, North Carolina which will get about 60 percent of its power from a huge solar panel array.

Greenpeace recently claimed that Apple powers its Maiden plant with electricity drawn from coal-powered power plants. Apple, however, stated that Greenpeace got its facts wrong. Greenpeace estimates that Apple's data center power usage at 100 Mwatts, while Apple claims it is only consuming 20 Mwatts. 7 Mwatts come from solar panels and 5 Mwatts from biogas-powered fuel cells, leaving 8 Mwatts to coal power.

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  • 12 Hide
    kunzite , April 27, 2012 4:54 AM
    They could just convince some iSheep to run on some hamster wheels for power. Apple just needs to drop generalized techy words and they'll do it. Or call it art.
Other Comments
  • -4 Hide
    DroKing , April 27, 2012 4:52 AM
    I wouldnt believe anything Apple spews. Id back Greenpeace at this.
  • 12 Hide
    kunzite , April 27, 2012 4:54 AM
    They could just convince some iSheep to run on some hamster wheels for power. Apple just needs to drop generalized techy words and they'll do it. Or call it art.
  • 5 Hide
    Sgtmurder , April 27, 2012 5:12 AM
    While I don't like Apple or the way the do things generally, it wouldn't be the first time Greenpeace is full of shit (and other renewable sources of energy).
  • 3 Hide
    kryzzay , April 27, 2012 5:30 AM
    Oh gawd who gives a #U@&.

    Next it will be the toilet police saying they don't use 100% recycled shit paper!
  • 2 Hide
    wardoc22 , April 27, 2012 5:43 AM
    Meanwhile, in other less important news. Gas Prices are still extremely high, Syria violence might end soon as Syrian Forces are pulling out of the cities, 9000 us marines are being moved off Okinawa.
  • 6 Hide
    husker , April 27, 2012 6:35 AM
    Anyone at Greenpeace live in a house? Eat food? Wear clothing? Do they use any mode of transportation such as riding a bike or borrowing their girlfriend's step dad's car? All these things required the consumption of non-renewable, carbon-spewing, air-and-water-polluting energy. Thanks a lot for helping to ruin the planet, Greenpeace.
  • 4 Hide
    Eman25th , April 27, 2012 6:45 AM
    Invest in Green paint suppliers! if this deal goes through you could make a ton of money. But green is a horrible color to paint a new data center, i just don't get hippies anymore.
  • -3 Hide
    CKKwan , April 27, 2012 6:49 AM
    I think this is at least a good intention behind this. Apple is certainly doing a good job.

    When talked about green, the data center itself uses thousands of computer which produced in a factory that produces tons of toxic waste. If it is talking about the energy. The solar panel produced in the same way as micro chip. Wind Turbine produced using rare earth material. Not to mention about nuclear energy. Geothermo energy maybe?

    Anyway, this is not the fault of Apple, a data center is setup because there is a demand. And the one who demand for it are..... You and Me.
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , April 27, 2012 7:17 AM
    rofl!
    This building is gonna have solar lighting, skylights and everything....
    So...
    On a cloudy day you are SOL... can't see, can't work, computers won't start, no coffee from the coffee makers... etc etc etc....

    >_>
  • 3 Hide
    memadmax , April 27, 2012 7:21 AM
    I don't know why we have to hang ourselves when the rest of the world keeps on going on its usual way....

    Oh, and by the way... air pollution in the US is at an all time low, lower than back in the 50's and that is according to the ***EPA*** on its LAST air pollution measurement back in 2008... but guess what?
    There hasn't been a measurement since, at least the information hasn't been released to the public........

    google is your friend....
  • -4 Hide
    ikyung , April 27, 2012 8:31 AM
    Solar is the short-term answer right now. America uses about 20million barrels of oil a day. Which is around 7 billion barrels of oil a year. There is an estimated 21 billion barrels in reserve left in America. That is three years worth before America runs out of oil. Which is the reason we started importing oil since the 90s.

    Dr. Hubbert predicted America would run out of oil by 2010. He was right, but the reason we lasted this long is because we started importing oil and because we started raising the price of oil. In 2008, oil prices were at record high which saw the growth rate drop to -5%. Currently, the annual growth rate of oil consumption is at +2%. If we continue this trend. Not only will America run out of oil, the entire world's reserve of oil will disappear by 2050.

    We don't have much time and need to find a new source of energy. Oil and coal are the biggest sources of energy right now in the world, and it will be depleted before our life time is over. Green is the way to go.. at least until we find a new source of energy.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , April 27, 2012 11:50 AM
    ikyungSolar is the short-term answer right now. America uses about 20million barrels of oil a day. Which is around 7 billion barrels of oil a year. There is an estimated 21 billion barrels in reserve left in America. That is three years worth before America runs out of oil. Which is the reason we started importing oil since the 90s.Dr. Hubbert predicted America would run out of oil by 2010. He was right, but the reason we lasted this long is because we started importing oil and because we started raising the price of oil. In 2008, oil prices were at record high which saw the growth rate drop to -5%. Currently, the annual growth rate of oil consumption is at +2%. If we continue this trend. Not only will America run out of oil, the entire world's reserve of oil will disappear by 2050.We don't have much time and need to find a new source of energy. Oil and coal are the biggest sources of energy right now in the world, and it will be depleted before our life time is over. Green is the way to go.. at least until we find a new source of energy.

    We may not have a lot of oil, but we have something like 8x the amount of coal as the rest of the world combined. You can use coal for power plants, or turn it into oil. We are not running out of power resources any time soon. We have enough resources to power the world for well over 100 years at current growth rates, and as things move to solar and fuel cell tech (because geo thermal and wind power are just bad jokes), we hopefully will not need to resort to that.

    At any rate, anyone else think it interesting that apple tells its own customers that they do not know how to hold their phones right, but then pander to greenpeace? And my pander I mean acknowledge that these morons exist in the first place!
  • 1 Hide
    brett1042002 , April 27, 2012 12:22 PM
    memadmaxrofl!This building is gonna have solar lighting, skylights and everything....So... On a cloudy day you are SOL... can't see, can't work, computers won't start, no coffee from the coffee makers... etc etc etc....>_>


    I'm not a solar cell expert by no means, but I would think the solar panels would charge large UPSs that they would draw power from, and not directly from the cells. So on a rainy day, they could run off the UPSs for an extended period of time without worry.

    Then again, their engineers could be retards for all I know. /shrug
  • 0 Hide
    tom in fairfax , April 27, 2012 12:26 PM
    Gosh, Apple just continues to dazzle us with its genius. Imagine that, being able to get electricity from the sun. I'll bet that iCloud will run great on cloudy days (not that Oregon gets any) and at night. Once Obama gets his way and shuts down all our coal plants, the phrase 24/7 will become something like 8/3, weather permitting.
  • 2 Hide
    sanirudh , April 27, 2012 12:36 PM
    I expected their data center to be 100% white, not green.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , April 27, 2012 12:36 PM
    ikyungSolar is the short-term answer right now. America uses about 20million barrels of oil a day. Which is around 7 billion barrels of oil a year. There is an estimated 21 billion barrels in reserve left in America. That is three years worth before America runs out of oil. Which is the reason we started importing oil since the 90s.Dr. Hubbert predicted America would run out of oil by 2010. He was right, but the reason we lasted this long is because we started importing oil and because we started raising the price of oil. In 2008, oil prices were at record high which saw the growth rate drop to -5%. Currently, the annual growth rate of oil consumption is at +2%. If we continue this trend. Not only will America run out of oil, the entire world's reserve of oil will disappear by 2050.We don't have much time and need to find a new source of energy. Oil and coal are the biggest sources of energy right now in the world, and it will be depleted before our life time is over. Green is the way to go.. at least until we find a new source of energy.

    LFTR Thorium reactors have been possible since they were invented at Oak Ridge in the 1950's, but no-one has picked them up, apart from the Chinese who are pushing it as the big power system of the future.

    Renewables suck ass, America needs to wake up and invest in Thorium reactors
  • 1 Hide
    beardguy , April 27, 2012 1:03 PM
    Headline: 5 more Foxconn workers commit suicide, Apple spends billions on polluting less.


  • 1 Hide
    rosen380 , April 27, 2012 2:16 PM
    beardguy: So, Apple spends money to use solar tech to displace some coal and they are the assholes ... or they use coal and pollute the environment and then they are the assholes.

    So, which would you like them to do?

    BTW- the article quotes 7MW solar, and as far as I can tell, that would cost around $25-35M, not billions. they have almost $100B if they spend $25-35M on this solar array is like your average Joe with $20k in the bank spending $4-5 vs $0.75 to get a CFL rather than an incandescent bulb.
  • 0 Hide
    beardguy , April 27, 2012 3:04 PM
    rosen380beardguy: So, Apple spends money to use solar tech to displace some coal and they are the assholes ... or they use coal and pollute the environment and then they are the assholes. So, which would you like them to do? BTW- the article quotes 7MW solar, and as far as I can tell, that would cost around $25-35M, not billions. they have almost $100B if they spend $25-35M on this solar array is like your average Joe with $20k in the bank spending $4-5 vs $0.75 to get a CFL rather than an incandescent bulb.


    My only point was that Apple refuses to fix the terrible conditions with it's manufacturing facilities in China, yet has no problem spending all kinds of money on pleasing Green Peace. Basically what this says to me is that Apple cares more about the environment than human life.

    In the end it's all a political game and Apple has already sent a strong message that it doesn't give a shit about it's Chinese workers.
  • 0 Hide
    targetdrone , April 27, 2012 3:51 PM
    What are they using to cool their servers? Refrigerants including propane, dry ice, and nitrogen are bad for the environment.
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