Apple, which managed to up its renewable energy utilization by 114% in March this year from 2010, plans to develop the solar farm next to its new data center in Reno. The solar park will render around 18 to 20 MW of power and will use concentrating solar panels. Apple is said to be working with SunPower to develop the solar park.
Apple states, "All of Apple’s data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels. This project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137 acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year."
Data centers have large energy needs to store the huge variety of media and to power the iCloud among others. Apple is already powering its other data centers with renewable energy. A 20 MW PV array powers the Maiden, North Carolina data center for example. Another 20 MW of solar is expected to come into operation at some point this year. This center was previously running on Duke Energy grid’s coal power.