Apple to spend $850m on solar energy

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that the company will be partnering with First Solar (America’s largest utility-scale installer) on a project that could supply Power to 60,000 homes in California. The installation will cover around 1,300 acres of land, cost $850m and will be built in Monterey County, California.

It is believed that Apple will receive around 130 megawatts of power from the project, which will be used as an off-set for the company’s latest campus designed by Norman Foster and all of its Californian retail stores. “We know at Apple that climate change is real” Cook stated at the announcement of the project during a Goldman Sachs technology conference.

This is not Apple’s first foray into solar energy. The new IPhone 6 “Sapphire” screens were made at a factory in Arizona that had planned to use nothing but solar power. In Maiden, North Carolina there is a “Solar Field” of 55,000 solar panels in a nearly 100 acre field which track the sun and off-set the electricity used by Apple’s massive data centre located just across the road.

It’s a good time for American businesses to be investing in solar energy, as predictions show that by 2016 solar energy could be as cheap as conventional grid energy in every state except 3. Clearly people are getting the message, as solar power production in America has gone up by 139,000% in the last decade.

Here in the UK we’ve seen an influx of domestic and business premises taking up “green deals” and putting solar panels on the roof. However, we’ve yet to get some clear figures on how much of a difference this has made so far. Perhaps if we had sun like California does, we’d get the results quicker.

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