During Tim Cook’s talk at the Goldman Sachs Tech Conference 2015 today, the Apple CEO announced a new initiative that will see the company build a solar farm in Monterey County, California that Cook called Apple’s “biggest, boldest and most ambitious” energy project yet.
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“We know at Apple that climate change is real… our view is the time for talk is past and the time for action is now… we’re now running all of our data centres… off renewable energy.. Just today we’re announcing our biggest, boldest and most ambitious project ever…building a solar farm in Monterey County…”
Apple says the new solar farm will offset all of its California operations including 55 retail stores, its entire under construction Campus 2, its other offices in California, and at least one of its data centers. Apple’s new Campus 2 alone is scheduled to house approximately 16,000 of its employees in 2.8m square feet once complete.
The new solar farm site will be located on approximately 1,300 acres in Monterey, according to Apple, and will cost around $850 million to build. Apple is partnering with First Solar on the project.
First Solar made its own announcement regarding the project noting that “Apple has committed $848 million for clean energy from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, Calif. Apple will receive electricity from 130 megawatts (MW)AC of the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user.”
Construction on the site is expected to be complete by the end of 2016, around the same time Apple will expects to complete construction on Campus 2.
Apple already operates other solar farms including a 137 acre solar array next to its Reno, Nevada data centre and two other locations with solar farms near its data center in Maiden, North Carolina.
Once complete, the amount of renewable energy the Monterey solar farm will produce could power 60,000 California homes, according to Cook.