Apple Turns Green after Months of Protest
Apple has announced its North Carolina data center will be powered entirely by renewable energy by the end of 2012.
The announcement follows a very public protest by Greenpeace over the technology giant’s use of coal-produced electricity.
The plan includes two major solar panel arrays in the vicinity of the Maiden, North Carolina, data center, and would generate energy equivalent to that used by 10,874 homes, according to the Apple website.
Apple's website states that the solar installations will be the nation's largest private solar arrays.
It will consist of two solar installations spanning 200 acres, and is expected to generate 84 million kilowatt hours of energy each year.
Bio-gas powered fuel cells will also be installed, and are expected to generate around 40 million kilowatt hours each year.
In total, the solar arrays and fuel cells are expected to provide 60% of the required energy for the Maiden data center.
Apple says the other 40% will come from local clean energy sources.
The announcement comes after months of public protest by Greenpeace, revolving around the Clean Our Cloud petition, signed by over 215,000 people.
Clean Our Cloud's homepage states, "Apple's iCloud relies on coal. Help them clean up their act."
The protest included satire-style commercials, and focused on delivering messages from the public.
On May 15 two Greenpeace activists locked themselves inside their own giant take on the "iPod" outside Apple's Cupertino headquarters, broadcasting messages from Clean Our Cloud supporters over a loud speaker as Apple employees and the public walked by.
At night activists projected Twitter and Facebook messages onto the walls of the Apple headquarters.
Greenpeace's Gary Cook said, "this is a clear sign that Apple is listening to the 220,000 customers who have asked for a clean iCloud. Apple now needs to show those customers how it will turn that rhetoric into reality."
The Maiden data center has received LEED certification - a highly regarded certification for buildings built with energy efficient design methods.
The solar arrays will use solar tracker technology to achieve optimal energy production as the sun moves across the sky.