The North Carolina Utility Commission approved Apple’s request to build a 4.8 megawatt fuel cell facility on Wednesday as part of its data center in Maiden. Once completed, the power plant will be the single largest privately held fuel cell center in the United States.
Apple plans to use the fuel cells to power its North Carolina data center along with two 100 acre solar farms. Between the solar farm, fuel cells, and deals with other sources, Apple’s data center will run completely on renewable energy, and Excess power will be sold to Duke Energy.
Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina
Even as Apple works to expand its renewable energy resources, environmental activist groups are protesting the Mac and iPhone maker’s reliance on coal-based power in North Carolina. Activists from Greenpeace, Keepers of the Mountains Foundation, Katuah Earth First! and Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival recently chained themselves to train tracks leading to the Duke Energy plant that’s near Apple’s data center over their concern that the data center would need more coal for power as it grows.
Fuel cells generate electricity through a hydrogen-based chemical process that produces water and heat as a byproduct. Apple’s fuel cell facility will be built by the California-based Bloom Energy.
[Thanks to AppleInsider for the heads up.]