With several solar plants behind the belt Apple is flexing muscles in energy industry.
Apple Goes Solar
Apple is granted a permission to sell solar energy from its solar farm in Monterey County, California. The Monterey farm takes up 2,900-acre 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.
Now, it’s a threshold. Apple turned from selling PCs and gadgets to selling energy to them. What could it mean? For one thing, Apple has never been wrong in perception of market tendencies. Not when they introduced first ever iMacs and iPads, not now.
Just like most people didn’t see the home computers’ potential back then, many energy companies were apprehensive about buying and selling solar energy. Apple made a risky investment in Nevada solar plant just outside Reno to power the nearest data center. Just some years ago buying solar energy and investing in plants was not a business but emotional move motivated mostly by positive environmental thinking than by cold-hearted calculations. Or was it?
The solar energy’s cost has plummeted due to decreased cost of the related equipment and solar farms are turning into merchant power. Apple is here the 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 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.
From solar energy consumer 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 the renewables critical deficiency is the resources intermittent nature, major players may be wary of including solar farm into the energy grid. They’d better have a look at how the solar farms will work for lesser communities. And here the aid of Apple is priceless.
They in Apple always are precise and end-user oriented in thinking. They don’t just build the farms but 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 Apples headquarters in the country. I’d say, Apple is tuning and honing the solar power grid before introducing it to the consumers. If it will revolutionize the energy field the way iMacs did with the computer world is just a matter of the next two or three years.