Apple, Inc., is having an ambitious goal of powering its entire facility with renewable energy. Apple is investing in its own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing energy needs even as the employee base grows.
Currently, Apple has already achieved 100% renewable energy at all data centers. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide 75% are supplying from renewable energy. The ultimate goal will be achieving 100% renewable energy throughout Apple.
According to Apple, below are the elements to achieve energy-efficient design:
- A chilled water storage system to improve chiller efficiency by transferring 10,400 kWh of electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours each day
- Use of “free” outside air cooling through a waterside economizer operation during night and cool-weather hours, which, along with water storage, allows the chillers to be turned off more than 75% of the time
- Extreme precision in managing cooling distribution for cold air containment pods with variable-speed fans controlled to exactly match airflow-to-server requirements from moment to moment
- Power distributed at higher voltages, which increases efficiency by reducing power loss
- White cool-roof design to provide maximum solar reflectivity
- High-efficiency LED lighting combined with motion sensors
- Real-time power monitoring and analytics during operations
- Construction processes that utilized 14% recycled materials, diverted 93% of construction waste from landfills, and sourced 41% of purchased materials within 500 miles of the site
In 2012, Apple completed construction on the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array on land surrounding the data center. This 100-acre, 20 MW facility has an annual production capacity of 42 million kWh of clean energy. Currently, they’re building a second 20-MW solar photovoltaic facility on nearby land that should be operational in late 2013. In addition, Apple built an onsite 10-MW fuel cell installation that uses directed biogas and provides more than 83 million kWh of 24/7 baseload renewable energy annually — it’s the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country. By 2014, Apple will be producing total of 167 million kWh of clean energy, equivalent to 17,600 homes annual consumption.