Apple’s Nevada data center has been in the works for quite some time: a 2,200-acre plot outside of Reno will host a 90,000-square-foot datacenter that, in turn, will support the tech giant’s cloud services.
Apple will reportedly spend $1 billion over the next decade on the facilities, in return for significant tax abatements at the city, county and state levels. It will also fund and build a 137-acre solar farm, managed in conjunction with NV Energy, to power the datacenter (it will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity).
“This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy,” Apple wrote in a statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The Reno datacenter will be the third Apple cloud facility in the U.S. that is powered largely or entirely by solar power.
Sixty percent of the power for Apple’s North Carolina datacenter comes from an existing solar-power farm near the facility. The rest will eventually come from another solar-power farm Apple is building in the state, as well as a separate 10megawatt fuel-cell facility that runs on directed biogas, which Apple calls “the largest non-utility fuel cell installation operating anywhere in the country.”
An Apple datacenter in Oregon uses solar power for part of its power load, but also uses power from wind and hydroelectric sources.
The mix of power sources is part of an overall effort at Apple to run all its facilities on renewable power. All the company’s datacenters run entirely on renewable power, according to the company. Around 75 percent of the power for Apple’s corporate offices comes from renewable resources, up from 35 percent in 2010.
Apple’s Reno datacenter will come online before the solar farm is due to be completed, sometime late this year. Before the new solar farm is finished, Apple will use power from the geothermal power-generating plant called Galena 3 outside of Reno. Apple’s datacenter in Newark, California also runs entirely on renewable power (primarily wind).