Apple to build 200MW solar farm in Nevada

The new plant will help the tech giant reach its goal to use only sustainable energy.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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Apple has announced a joint venture with NV Energy to build a 200-megawattt solar plant in Nevada, furthering the firm's goals to utilize only renewable energy sources in the future.

The companies revealed the venture on Wednesday, which aims to provide enough power to cater for Apple's energy needs in its Reno Technology Park data center.

In the coming weeks, NV energy will file an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to build the new solar farm, which will bring NV Energy's solar power plans and resources in the region -- either in construction stages or under review for approval -- to over 529MW.

As part of the deal, Apple will dedicate up to 5MW of solar power to NV Energy's solar subscription program which provies energy resources to other businesses and consumers.

The solar farm is expected to begin operations in 2019.

Several years ago, the technology giant pledged to abandon fossil fuels and only use renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, in not only data centers but through the manufacturing process.

Apple claims to have already reached this goal for data centers in the US, China, and 21 other countries -- while this may be a little more complicated than Apple lets on -- and says that in 2015, 93 percent of all Apple operations were powered with renewables.

Last year, the company completed construction of a 50MW solar farm in Arizona, joining other schemes in China and a wide array of solar plants across the United States in counties including California and North Carolina.

"We are proud to play a role in helping Apple meet their energy needs with Nevada's abundant solar resource," said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy. "In partnership with our customers, we continue to develop a more balanced fuel mix in a way that benefits the local economy by providing hundreds of jobs for Nevadans, particularly those in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 357 and 396, and advances the state's policy goals."

In 2016, Apple joined RE100, a consortium of companies that have pledged to shift their operations to operate on only renewable energy sources in the future.

Last week, Apple filed a suit against US chip maker Qualcomm, accusing the firm of withholding almost $1 billion in contractual payments it allegedly owes to the iPad and iPhone maker. Qualcomm has also been accused of "attempting to extort" Apple into obstructing an investigation into Qualcomm's business practices. Apple claims Qualcomm's payments have been withheld to punish the company for working with South Korean regulatory investigators.

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