August 2, 2015

Apple’s solar farm claimed to make use of high-performance SunPower panels, rumored to open in October

Apple solar farm

The San Jose Mercury News revealed Apple’s filing that claims San Jose-based SunPower to have won the contract for supplying panels for its upcoming solar farm. The company is evidently aiming for at least fourteen photovoltaic installations on the solar farm and is planning to self-finance the project.According to the report, every photovoltaic installation would include multiple SunPower E20 435-watt photovoltaic modules that would be based on the tracking systems of the ground-mounted single axis. Both SunPower and Apple refused to give any comments concerning the claim. However, last month Apple disclosed in a Facilities Environmental Report that its North Carolina factories will represent the largest solar user-owned plants in America once they are completed. According to the company, a high percentage of renewable energy will be consumed by the data center itself.

Having analyzed Apple’s own figures, Greenpeace totaled that the fuel cell installation and the solar farm would provide 9.8 percent of the data center’s energy needs.

People with inside knowledge of the matter have indicated that Leaf Solar Power will be engaged in the project as well, despite the fact that the exact involvement of the company was not instantly apparent.

Apple’s Maiden, N.C. data center is considered to be the region’s largest center with a 500,000 square-foot facility. Apple has already disclosed plans for building another “green” data center in Prineville, Oregon. The company refused to confirm more details about the project, although it is said that Apple purchased a 160-acre plot of land for $5.6 million.


  1. Jetz says:

    care… we want ipad 3!

  2. AfoorneGes says:

    Apple is leading the way with green energy like solar power

  3. kafmeraEasEro says:

    claimed to reach 20% is amazing! The best solar panels a few years ago could just manage around 12%. I never knew the technology was moving forward this fast.

  4. RazzFazz says:

    Think 18% was the previous best from sharp? maybe sanyo? 2% in a few years isnt bad for solar.

  5. Jubelum says:

    I hope that it uses a modular design, so that in a few years, when they are capable of producing 25% or even 30% efficient cells, that they can be easily swapped out.

  6. Quick says:


    It’s the best iPower yet.

  7. ski1 says:

    I thought Spectrolab had produced panels up to 40% efficiency back in 2007. What happened to them?

  8. Belle says:

    Probably cant be mass produced at a decent price or there were lifespan issues with them.

  9. European says:

    Personally I’d be cool if down the line they could get some PV charging capacity out an iDevices black screen when it’s in standby. There were patents for that I think.

    IMO it’s not power generation that’s the big challenge, but storing that power. That’s the nut that needs to be cracked, and it is actually in Apple’s best interest to maybe spend some of it’s billions there. More efficient and cheaper storage of more energy would make their products better.

  10. Bogie says:

    Next year, solar panel production becomes more efficient due to large orders from Apple.

  11. Jensonb says:

    Maybe I should feel like those people who bought a new Mac just before the updated ones came out.

    Over the next couple of weeks I’ll have 4 kw of the “E19″ Sunpower panels mounted on my roof.

    If I’d just waited I’ve have gotten another 1%.

    But I’ll sacrifice that 1% for something I can get installed now.

  12. Slewis says:

    Excellent. Apple joins the future-minded fans of clean energy and less dependency of the crazy oil sheikhs and oil mullahs.

  13. Tuttle says:


    Apple joins the future-minded fans of clean energy and less dependency of the crazy oil sheikhs and oil mullahs.

  14. pear says:

    This should help dispel misconceptions that solar power isn’t ready for widespread implementation in the economy yet. Apple leads again.

  15. Alfiejr says:

    How long does it take to offset the carbon emissions on building these panels and installing them?

  16. Ybot says:

    Typically about 1-2 years.

    How long does it take to offset the carbon emissions of a fossil fuel power station?

  17. moki says:

    I know that’s much longer, it was just a question, not more, not less.

  18. Mumbo says:

    We need MORE POWER!

  19. Walter says:

    That’s one massive solar farm. It’s gonna take a lot of panels to power that huge data center.

  20. Apple says:

    They said power part of the data centre meaning that solar electricity will be able to contribute to part of the power. Solar electricity will be to unreliable to use for all the power as no sun equals no power

  21. NoahJ says:

    Waste of time and land…

  22. Eugene says:

    Yes, harnessing free power from the sun is such a waste of time.

  23. jamac says:

    This make me SO happy.

    why don’t they put solar panels and wind mills on top of the data center itself, aswell?

  24. MacTel says:

    Wonder if this farm will hook up to the local power grid.

    That would be efficient.

  25. TBell says:

    Excellent. Don’t know the terrain there, but the NC mountains could also provide wind power. Smart move Apple.

  26. abeol says:

    Go green Apple. :D)

  27. Eskimo says:

    Hopefully some company will put tubes under the hot solar cells to make steam and create energy that was as well :)

  28. Dr Millmoss says:

    I always knew apple has a sunny disposition. This should shine a positive light on things. Perhaps a ray of hope. This company shows flare! I’m beaming with excitement.

  29. The Fork says:

    the iEnergy

  30. JLL says:

    So let me get this straight… the new “Green” thing to do is to mow down 170 acres of trees and pasture land to put up a Solar Farm?

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