Apple Purchases Third Solar Farm in North Carolina
While best known for its iconic computers and personal devices, Apple is also a major player in the renewable energy industry.
In 2012, the company outlined plans to build a data center in Maiden, North Carolina that would be completely sustainable and earned a LEED Platinum certification. The center houses some of Apple’s most valuable assets, such as Siri and its cloud services.
In February of this year, Apple announced plans to expand its facilities in Maiden to include a smaller, “tactical” data center. The facilities utilize massive solar farms to power their operations: a 100-acre farm in Maiden, and a 200-acre farm in nearby Conover. Each provides the data center with 20 megawatts of power.
On Monday, Apple announced plans to build a third solar farm near Claremont, N.C.
The project is huge in several ways. Apple is set to annex 100 acres of land and the farm is expected to 17.5 megawatts of energy. The project is expected to cost around $55 million.
The project is expected to be a win-win situation for both Apple and North Carolina. The project will incorporate the land into Claremont’s corporate limits, as well as locally source 75 new jobs.
While the data center is already completely sustainable, the energy produced from this new solar farm will be used to power other company ventures, such as its brick and mortar stores.
Currently, almost half of Apple’s 254 retail stores are powered by completely sustainable energy.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.