After revealing plans to build a 20-megawatt solar farm to power their North Carolina datacenter, Apple has now been officially granted regulatory approval to go ahead with construction by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, MacRumors reports.
From the official approval papers:
The Public Staff presented this matter to the Commission at its Regular Staff Conference on May 14, 2012. The Public Staff recommended that the Commission approve the application and issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity for construction of a 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility to be located at 6028 Startown Road, Maiden, North Carolina.
After careful consideration, the Commission finds good cause to approve the application and issue the attached certificate of public convenience and necessity for the proposed 20 MW solar photovoltaic electric generating facility.
Apple has come under scrutiny from Greenpeace in the last few weeks over the power for used for its datacenters, so hopefully this confirmation of using solar power will make them stop protesting, even though you get the feeling that Apple are being unfairly targeted compared to other tech companies who probably use the same amount of energy as they do.
The solar power facility will also be the largest user-owned array in the US, and when you add in a 5 megawatt fuel cell facility that’s currently undergoing the approval process, that’s A LOT of power!