updated 03:28 pm EST, Fri January 10, 2014
Company aiming to power all datacenters with renewable energy
Apple has opened up three new positions for its upcoming datacenter in Prineville, Oregon. These include two maintenance technicians, as well as a chief engineer. The company has actually been trying to hire a chief engineer since early 2013, but doesn't appear to have had any success. The person will have to oversee many datacenter operations, including testing and monitoring, and implementing new projects.
The center appears to be advancing towards completion, but still requires major construction work. Prineville mayor Betty Roppe recently announced that Apple is planning to build a solar farm for the center. To that end, Prineville and Crook County have amended enterprise zone agreements to encompass extra land; Apple's agreement defers taxes on improvements to the land for a period of 15 years.
"My understanding is that they will create the solar farm and then they will sell that back to the companies that they actually get their electricity from," says Roppe. Beyond that, though, the mayor isn't willing to disclose further details of Apple's deal, due to a confidentiality agreement. Likewise, Economic Development for Central Oregon isn't confirming an arragenment, but the organization's usual terms may provide some more information. In the the enterprise zone where Apple is building, businesses must normally hire at least 35 full-time workers, all of whom have to be paid at least one and a half times the county average.
Apple has committed to powering its datacenters entirely using renewable energy. Part of the incentive stems from groups like Greenpeace, which have protested companies using datacenters with "dirty" power sources. For Apple, though, there is also a cost motive, since it will typically pay less for green energy than if it stays on coal/nuclear grids.