“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”
I love Apple. We’re an Apple family, in fact. All told, we have one Mac Pro, two MacBook Pros, two MacBook Airs, three iPads, two iPhones, three iPod touches and one iPod classic, all still getting consistent use. I wrote and edited my book “Comprehending the Climate Crisis” on Mac computers, and maintain my blog on them as well. I’d love to tell Apple how much I love their products, but I don’t find myself calling Customer Service very often to pass that on. (Conversely, I used to be able to tell that to Microsoft all the time before I made the switch about five years ago.)
So I was very happy to read that Apple is doing its best to use renewable energy sources. Their data center in North Carolina uses photovoltaic panels and fuel cells for storage so that it estimates it can provide 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
Now we’re waiting to see what Apple is going to do with their next planned data center that will be located just outside Reno, Nevada. This one billion dollar project will very likely follow the same approach. Once approved, the Unique Infrastructure Group will develop the 2,200-acre property for Apple at Reno Technology Park.
The Reno Technology Park itself has always planned to generate much of its own power, so Apple will be a perfect fit. They planned to generate 300 MW of power on site using natural gas (the cleanest of the fossil fuels), and 140 MW from a combination of renewable sources: 100MW from wind energy, 20 MW from photovoltaic panels, and 20 MW from geothermal.
KC Mares, the CTO of Unique Infrastructure Group has been working on energy-efficient data center plans for a number of years, and stated back in 2010 that what separates the Reno project from others is “the project’s approach to energy, which enlarges the traditional role of the data center builder to act as both landlord and electric utility.”
With all of the grid-independent power available at the Reno Technology Park, any company can ensure that it uses green energy to provide much of its energy needs. Some people estimate that Apple would be able to remove itself from the grid completely in years to come with this new data center.
I would love to see that happen. The more companies that can set such an example— ultimately to become the standard—the better.
Maybe I should call Apple’s Customer Service Department even though I’m not needing them for anything. Just to say kudos and congratulations. They deserve it for their forward thinking.