North Carolina Stories October 18, 2012

StubHub Tickets: There are a few notable apps already hitting the App Store today. StubHub, which recently announced Passbook support for University of Texas and Purdue University, is today announcing Passbook integration for University of North Carolina Tar Heels events starting with the first home football game on October 27. StubHub has rolled out support for Apple’s new Passbook app for four schools total, but plans to roll out support for its 60+ partners in the near future, which include franchises in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA. Tar Heels fans will now have the “Add to Passbook” option available when purchasing tickets through StubHub’s iOS app.

ReaddleDocs version 3.2.5:

– iPhone 5 compatibility

KODAK Professional Film App: Kodak released a new app today that allows users to learn about types of Kodak films, file formats, and where to buy and process film.

For example, are you in the UK and looking for KODAK PORTRA Professional 160 film? Or in Australia looking for a lab to develop your EKTAR 100 images? Simply download the app, select your country and find trusted partners to supply and develop your film.

VLC 2.0.4: Popular open source VLC media player is getting a big update today that includes support for new codecs and a ton of improvements and fixes: expand full story

North Carolina Stories September 14, 2012

New aerial shots of Apple’s North Carolina data center show almost complete solar farm

Apple is making a lot of progress with construction in and around its Maiden, N.C., data center. An almost-complete 100 acre solar farm is pictured in the above aerial shots provided to GigaOm by WCNC-TV.

North Carolina Stories August 1, 2012

Apple gets approval from Nevada Board of Economic Development for Reno data center

According to the AP, the Economic Development Board of Nevada approved a deal negotiated by the state to lure Apple Inc. to Reno with $89 million in tax breaks. Apple plans to build a 350-acre data center east of nearby Sparks. It will employ up to 200 contract workers and 35+ full-time workers with an hourly wage of $25. Apple will also build a purchasing and business center in a blighted area near downtown Reno.

Analysts estimate the projects will bring about $340 million in economic activity to the area over the next decade.

Washoe County and the city of Reno agreed to their share of the tax abatements in June. In Washoe County, Apple will get an 85 percent break on its personal property taxes, while Reno pledged 75 percent of its share of sales taxes to the company for a downtown business center.

In exchange for the tax breaks, Apple pledged to invest $1 billion in the region over 10 years. The agreement contains options to extend the abatements for two, 10-year periods provided the company meets certain benchmarks for continued investment in the region.

Apple is aggressively growing out its U.S. data center capacity, doubling up its relatively new data center and 20MW solar farm in North Carolina, as well as building another new center in Prineville, Ore.

Apple also uses its Reno office as a national tax haven.

North Carolina Stories May 17, 2012

Apple’s 20-megawatt solar farm near NC data center gets NCUC approval

The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved (PDF) Apple’s proposal to build a 20-megawatt solar farm today. Early filings suggested Apple aimed to position the farm by Nov. 1 across the street from its Maiden, N.C., date center, with operations starting Dec. 21. According to MacRumors, the official proposal filed on Feb. 15, and then it underwent to staff review, a public notice/comment session, and feedback from the State Clearinghouse. The NCUC officially approved the proposal on Monday and completed the certificate issuance Thursday:

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.

According to Reuters, Apple confirmed today that it is constructing two solar array installations in Maiden, with the potential to annually supply 84 million kWh of energy through streamlined solar cells and a state-of-the-art solar tracking system. A 5-megawatt fuel cell installation will support the solar farms, which will open later this year, powered-by 100 percent biogas. Apple also confirmed plans to construct a third biogas fuel-cell plant in 2012.

North Carolina Stories April 17, 2012

Greenpeace says iCloud powered with ‘dirty coal energy’

Despite Apple currently constructing one of the nation’s largest solar arrays and expanding its North Carolina data centers, Greenpeace just released its “How Clean is Your Cloud” report claiming Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft “are powering their growing 21st-century clouds with dirty, 19th-century coal energy.” The organization is urging consumers to read the 50-page report and then contact the companies mentioned to convince them to change their approach when it comes to powering the cloud.

“If Apple is really interested in having the “high percentage” of renewable energy it claims to want for the iCloud, it will have to look beyond the initial steps for on-site generation and use its tremendous cash reserves to invest in or purchase renewable energy and also to put pressure on Duke Energy to to provide cleaner energy”

Apple issued a statement to various media outlets today in response (via NPR):

“Our data center in North Carolina will draw about 20 megawatts at full capacity, and we are on track to supply more than 60 percent of that power on-site from renewable sources including a solar farm and fuel cell installation which will each be the largest of their kind in the country,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokesperson. “We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data center ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100 percent renewable energy.”

North Carolina Stories March 16, 2012

When Apple published its 2012 Facilities Report and Environmental Update, we got some new details on its plans for the now-under construction Maiden, N.C.-based iCloud data center. We reported that Apple planned to build the largest end user–owned onsite solar array in the United States across the road from the data center, as well as the largest non-utility fuel cell in the country at 5-megawatts. Today, Hickory Daily Record confirmed construction has officially begun.

…this week, work has started on the main campus of the data center. Driving by the campus, you can actually see the structure from the road. That’s because part of the berm — an earthen wall — has been demolished as part of some type of construction… What type of construction taking place on the main campus is not clear. No one is talking, or seems to know.

While it is unclear exactly what the new structure on the main campus will be, there are a few options swirling around. We know the 5-megawatt fuel cell will be next to the main data center, and the new building could house that installation. However, as HickoryDailyRecord pointed out, Maiden Town Manager Todd Herms said Apple originally planned to build two identical structures when it began construction of its Maiden data center. Apple only built one, so the new building could be the second building of the main data center.

The report noted Apple’s main contractor for data centers in area, Holder Construction, pulled zoning permits last week for a “tactical data center.” Another permit issued on Wednesday named 34 acres of the main data center campus. The current 500,000-square-foot building only occupies about 11.5 acres, so its possible the new building will be larger than the current data center. As we pointed out in our overhead shot of the data center pictured right (Thanks PilotJohn), the report also confirmed land is being cleared for the solar farm’s construction across the road. expand full story

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