updated 02:30 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
US firm to set up Apple solar grid
The supplier behind Apple's solar energy farm has already been identified in a scoop on Tuesday. An investigation by AppleInsider has identified Lake Worth, Florida-based Leaf Solar Power as being the contractor for the Maiden, North Carolina server hub. It has normally focused on home and small business projects, but it's believed to be expanding to powering projects as large as a 17MW Arizona solar farm and a 300MW "world-class" factory.
Leaf wouldn't comment on the story.
The choice of Leaf may be partly political for Apple. It would see the company not only use renewable power for the center powering iCloud and iTunes but choose a US-based provider. Much recent solar development has been sourced from Chinese companies like Huawei; Apple's decision would lead to a high-profile American solar deployment. It might also help address concerns about ethical labor.
Apple has already made a point of saying that its Austin, Cork, and Sacramento offices use completely renewable energy. Its future solar site, directly across from the North Carolina center, would be significant in tackling a very power-hungry location and proving that a mission-critical building can survive without separate power.