Apple Hits 100% Renewable Energy: Here’s How They Did It

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Apple has announced that its global facilities are now powered with 100% clean energy. This includes retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries.

The company has also announced that nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100% clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23.

Renewable energy projects

Apple and its partners are building new renewable energy projects around the world. Along with utilities, the company says it creates or develops new renewable energy projects that would not otherwise exist. These projects represent a diverse range of energy sources, including solar arrays and wind farms, as well as emerging technologies such as biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.

Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 MW of generation capacity. Notably, 286 MW of solar PV generation came online in 2017. The company currently has 15 more projects under construction, and once built, over 1.4 GW of renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.

Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100% renewable energy. And since 2011, all of Apple’s renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions by 54% from its facilities worldwide, the company says.

Apple’s renewable energy projects include as follows:

• Apple Park, Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, is now the largest LEED Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100% renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17 MW on-site rooftop solar installation and 4 MW of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.

• Over 485 MW of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces in China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.

• Apple recently announced plans to build a 400,000-square-foot data center in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one.

• In Prineville, Ore., the company signed a 200 MW power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019.

• In Reno, Nev., Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years has developed four new solar PV projects.

• In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 MWh of clean energy every year – enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.

• Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C., is supported by projects that generate 244 million kWh of renewable energy per year, which is equivalent to the energy used by 17,906 North Carolina homes.

• In Singapore, where land is scarce, Apple adapted and built renewable energy on 800 rooftops.

• Apple is currently constructing two new data centers in Denmark that will run on 100% renewable energy from day one.

Supplier commitments

To get to 100% renewable energy for its own facilities, the company says it has also worked to set an example for others to follow. As of today, 23 of its suppliers are now committed to operating on 100% renewable energy, including the nine new suppliers.

Altogether, clean energy from supplier projects helped avoid over 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in 2017 – the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road, says Apple. In addition, over 85 suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify commercially viable renewable energy solutions in regions around the world.

New supplier commitments include as follows:

• Arkema, a designer of high-performance, bio-based polymers, which manufactures for Apple at its facilities in France, the United States and China.

• DSM Engineering Plastics, which manufactures polymers and compounds in the Netherlands, Taiwan and China that are used in many Apple products, including connectors and cables.

• ECCO Leather, the first soft goods supplier to commit to 100% clean energy for its Apple production. The leather that ECCO produces for Apple is of European origin, with tanning and cutting occurring at facilities in the Netherlands and China.

• Finisar, a U.S. producer of optical communication components and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, which power new Apple features such as Face ID, Portrait-mode selfies and Animoji.

• Luxshare-ICT, a supplier of accessories for Apple products. Luxshare-ICT’s production for Apple is predominantly located in eastern China.

• Pegatron, which assembles a number of products, including the iPhone, at its two factories in Shanghai and Kunshan, China.

• Quadrant, a supplier of magnets and magnetic components in a number of Apple’s products.

• Quanta Computer, one of the first Mac suppliers to commit to 100% renewable energy for Apple production.

• Taiyo Ink Mfg. Co., which produces solder masks for printed circuit boards in Japan.

“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it. After years of hard work, we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy – because we know the future depends on it.”

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