Apple plans to build America’s largest solar panel farm

Apple NASDAQ: AAPL has revealed ambitious plans to build America’s largest solar panel farm.

The firm hopes to use renewable energy to power a vast new data centre in North Carolina using the 1    0 acre array of panels.

Apple Maiden Data Centre
The Maiden data centre helps power Apple's online operations, including the iTunes store that delivers music and apps to the firm's users.

"Our goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix, and we have major projects under way to achieve this -- including building the nation's largest end user-owned solar array and building the largest nonutility fuel cell installation in the United States," Apple said.

When completed, the 100-acre, 20 MW facility will supply 42 million kWh of clean, renewable energy annually. However, Apple’s site is still dwarfed by the world’s largest array, Golmud Solar Park in China, which produces 200 MW of power.

The solar array was revealed as part of a raft of green announcements in Apple's 2012 facilties report.

The London Evening Standard also reports that the company also revealed a host of other energy saving moves, including LED lighting to illuminate signs at Apple Stores around the world, and a solar thermal water heater in the cafeteria of its Cork facility in Ireland.

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