Apple announced in mid-April that it is beginning construction on two solar energy farms to power China data centers. The projects highlight the tech company's expanded global investment in alternative energy sources and data center sustainability.
The solar farms are being built in Sichuan province in Southwestern China and they will be owned in partnership between Apple and Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., a joint venture between SunPower and Chinese firms. Apple and SunPower have partnered previously, including the installation of solar panels at Apple's North Carolina data center.
"This is a tremendous, groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together a diverse group of experienced partners from different parts of the globe to build renewable solar energy ventures that contribute to the local economy and the environment. Our unique, existing partnerships in China allowed for these projects to come to fruition quickly," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "These projects will provide clean, renewable energy, help address climate change, and continue to provide agricultural benefits to the local farmers, while protecting the area's precious land."
The panels being used at the solar farms are being constructed in such a way that farmers will be able to continue utilizing the land as pasture even after they have been installed. Combined, the two solar plants can produce as much as 80 kW hours of power annually.
Ground has already been broken on both solar plants, with one already producing 2 MW of power. Construction on both sites is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Apple's global operations currently rely on 87 percent renewable energy, and the company's data centers run on 100 percent sustainable power.
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