Apple Doubles Down on the Environment with $848M Solar Farm

Apple and First Solar are teaming up to build a 2,900 acre solar farm in Monterey County in California. Apple is committing US$848 million to the project, which will produce enough power for all of the company's operations in the state with plenty left over to sell to Pacific Gas & Electric for homes and other businesses.

Apple invests $848 million in California solar farmApple invests $848 million in California solar farm

The California Flats Solar Project will be built on land in Cholame owned by the Hearst Corporation. Construction is expected to start in the middle of the year and will be finished by the end of 2016. Apple will get 130 megawatts from the solar array in a 25 year power purchase deal.

Joe Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer for First Solar said, "Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy."

Apple has a well established track record for supporting green energy, or power that comes from renewable sources such as solar and hydroelectric. The company's new headquarters in Cupertino, still under construction, will include a solar array for on-location electrical production, and its data centers run on renewable energy, too.

In 2013, Apple claimed it was already getting 75 percent of its corporate power through renewable sources. In 2014 Apple expanded its renewable energy resources for data centers with a hydroelectric plant purchase in Oregon and by expanding its North Carolina solar farm by 100 acres.

The data center Apple is placing in the building GTAT used for iPhone sapphire glass production before filing bankruptcy will include its own solar array, too.

First Solar said that after Apple's 130 megawatts, it will still have 150 megawatts it can sell to PG&E.

Mr. Kishkill added, "Apple's commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California.