Clean Data Centers from Apple
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Clean Data Centers from Apple

Apple is planning to build a new data center in Reno, Nevada. The start of construction is scheduled for August and the end is expected by the end of this year. The start of construction is scheduled for August and the end is expected by the end of this year.

This week Reno Gazzete-Journal reported that Apple is planning to build a new data center in Reno, Nevada. The center will be built in Reno Technology Park and could bring $1 billion to Northern Nevada over the next ten years. The start of construction is scheduled for August and the end is expected by the end of this year.

The data center will support Apple’s cloud services like iTunes Store, App Store and iCloud services. Reno Technology Park is an area of 2,200 acres with an access to eight electrical transmission lines providing access to renewable-energy sources. 1000 acres of the park will be used for the data center that will use renewable-energy infrastructure. The mix of renewables that are to be used is not familiar yet.  

The decision to make a data center in the desert area is probably mostly motivated by substantial tax breaks from the local and state governments. The center will make an opportunity for hiring nearly 400 employees, developing the region and making significant energy savings. Nevada has a lot of solar and geothermal resources which would contribute to the efficient data center running. The clean power could be provided by 100MW wind power, 20MW solar panels and 20MW geothermal energy.

At the moment, Apple is building another two data centers in Maiden, North Carolina and Prineville, Oregon and is planning to make them 100% green by the end of the 2012. For Maiden, their plan is to generate 60% of the power through fuel cells at the site, as well as through a solar farm that is located across the street. The remaining 40% will come from regional renewable energy providers.

Previously, Apple provoked sharp reactions from Greenpeace who claimed that Apple’s data centers relied too much on energy produced from coal. According to them, not only the company, but the whole IT industry should do much more to secure environmentally friendly businesses. Greenpeace released a report on how cloud technology affects environment where they emphasize how much energy it takes to make Internet running smoothly.

With the explosion of social networks and mobile devices the amount of the images, videos and documents stored online boomed. The data needed more cloud space, so the vendors started building new data centers almost simultaneously. Technology giants Facebook and Google also built massive data centers in rural Oregon. This is a more efficient and less expensive way to produce the energy necessary for running the Internet applications with a huge traffic. For Apple, it is mostly iCloud service that required it to expand their storage space. Now, these three data centers are iCloud.

Providing green data centers can contribute to both the company and the environment. This is especially important for Apple whose users requested that the company make their technology more environmentally friendly. Therefore, by implementing greener energy Apple may gain their customer satisfaction, healthy community and cost benefits, which is probably the most significant for them.  

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