Apple Buys Land for Second Solar Farm in North Carolina

Apple has purchased another 200 acres near its Maiden, NC data center, presumably for a second solar farm in an effort to meet its pledge to run the facility on 100 percent renewable energy by the end of the year. This new land will double the size of the solar array producing power for the center.

Apples data center in Maiden, North Carolina
Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina

The data center in Maiden currently has a 4.8 megawatt, 40 million kilowatt-hour fuel cell installation as well as a 100-acre, 20 megawatt, 42 kilowatt-hour solar array on location. On its website, Apple has stated that is was expecting a second "100-acre site located a few miles away [that] will produce another 42 million kilowatt-hours" of energy.

The recently acquired land is near Conover, NC in Catawba County, a few miles north of the Maiden data center. According to the Hickory Daily Record, Apple paid US$3 million for the property.

The county is supporting the facility with the usual infrastructure improvements, but has also created the nonprofit Catawba County Property Development Corporation to oversee the multi-jurisdictional data center campus.

When all these energy producing installations come online they are expected to supply 60 percent of the data center's power onsite. Apple will also be the owner of the "largest non-utility private solar arrays and the largest non-utiity fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country."

The remaining 40 percent of its power requirements will be purchased from regional sources. In order to meet its pledge, Apple would be purchasing clean, renewable energy.