Apple to add 200 MW of solar in China, announces 2 GW clean energy goals

Slide to unlock: Apple Inc. is set to step up its clean power footprint in a big way following yesterday’s announcement from the tech firm that it is to build 200 MW of additional solar power in China.

Having completed on Wednesday two solar farms in southern China with a combined power output of 40 MW, the U.S. company also confirmed it will work with its key partners – including Foxconn Technology Group, which makes the iPhone – to deliver a further 2 GW of wind, solar and hydropower capacity in China over the next few years.

Apple has been a leader in adopting cleaner energy sources, and its latest pledges come a few weeks ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris where world leaders will hopefully agree on new and binding emission reduction targets. Earlier this year Apple signed a 25-year PPA with First Solar to construct 130 MW of solar capacity in California, and has also begun work on a $2 billion, 70 MW solar-powered data center in Arizona.

In China, the company partnered with SunPower to deliver the two 20 MW solar farms in Sichuan province, which now generate enough renewable energy in China to offset the company’s operations in the country, thus making Apple carbon neutral in China.

"Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort."

As part of its clean energy deal with Apple, Foxconn will build a 400 MW solar farm in China’s Henan province, and targeting 2018 as the completion date. The phone-maker builds the iPhone at its factory in Zhengzhou.