Apple Goes Solar: With several solar plants under their belt, Apple is flexing their muscles in the energy industry.
Apple Goes Solar
Apple was granted a permission to sell solar energy from its solar farm in Monterrey County, California. The Monterrey farm takes up 2,900 acres, and generates 130 megawatts of solar energy. It is said to be enough to power 60,000 Californian homes, Apple’s new campus, every Apple office in California, plus 52 stores, and the data center in Newark, California.
This is a new threshold. Apple turned from selling PCs and gadgets, to selling the energy to power them. What could this mean? For one thing, Apple has never been wrong in predicting market tendencies. They weren’t wrong when they introduced the first ever iMacs and iPads, and they aren’t wrong now.
Just like most people didn’t see the potential for home computers back then, many energy companies were apprehensive about buying and selling solar energy. Apple made a risky investment in a Nevada solar plant just outside of Reno to power the nearest data center. Just a few years ago, buying solar energy and investing in plants was not a business, but rather an emotional move motivated mostly by positive environmental thinking than by cold-hearted calculations. Or was it?
Solar energy’s cost has plummeted due to the decreased cost of related equipment, and solar farms are turning into merchant power. Apple is here first to catch the wave. It possesses solar farms in Nevada, California, North Carolina, even China, where yaks are grazing peacefully by the solar batteries. What now looks like a cute ‘green’ move may turn into a wise investment in the future.
From farm to farm the technology is being constantly upgraded. From mirrors to solar cells and the combination of both.
For solar energy consumers, Apple is turning into an energy provider, discovering a new perspective for the industry. With gas and nuclear plants holding the major shares of the market, solar farms badly need big pockets’ support. As renewable energy’s critical deficiency is the resources intermittent nature, major players may be wary of including solar farms into the energy grid. They should have a look at how solar farms will work for lesser communities, and here the aid of Apple is priceless.
Those at Apple are always precise and end-user oriented in thinking. They don’t just build the farms, but they also take into account the way power will be delivered and distributed. Both Nevada solar plants in Fort Churchill and outside Reno serve to power Apple Data Centers which are in the vicinity. The same goes for the plant in China that powers Apple’s headquarters in the country. I’d say, Apple is honing in on the solar power grid before introducing it to consumers. If it will revolutionize the energy field, the way iMacs did with the computer world, in a few short years.