Apple converts buildings to 100% renewable energy
Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino is powered renewable energy, in part from a 17-mw rooftop solar installation.
At Apple facilities in 43 countries, 10 percent of the power comes from clean sources, company officials announced in April 2018.
The move to renewable energy is part of the company's commitment to combat climate change and create a healthier environment, said CEO Tim Cook.
This achievement includes retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India. The company also announced nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23.
In China, solar panels are mounted high off the ground to let sunlight shine through, so grass can grow — and local yaks can eat it.
“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,” Cook said. “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.”
Apple and its partners are building new renewable energy projects around the world, improving the energy options for local communities, states and even entire countries. Apple creates or develops, with utilities, new regional 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 like biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.
Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity, with 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year. It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, over 1.4 gigawatts of clean, renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.
Renewable energy projects
Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centers have been powered by 100 percent renewable energy. And since 2011, all of Apple's renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54 percent from its facilities worldwide and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere.
Apple’s renewable energy projects include:
- 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 percent renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation and four megawatts 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 megawatts of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.
- Apple recently announced plans to build a 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one.
- In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019.
- In Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totaling 320 megawatts of solar PV generation.
- In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy every year — enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.
- Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina, is supported by projects that generate 244 million kilowatt-hours 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 its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.
- Apple is currently constructing two new data centers in Denmark that will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.
Ibiden, a component supplier outside Nagoya, Japan, maintains a floating solar photovoltaic facility to power 100% of its manufacturing.
To get to 100 percent renewable energy for its own facilities, the company worked to set an example for others to follow. Apple also announced today that 23 of its suppliers are now committed to operating on 100 percent renewable energy, including 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. 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:
- 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 percent 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 US industry-leading producer of optical communication components and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which power some of Apple’s most popular new features like 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 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 percent renewable energy for Apple production.
- Taiyo Ink Mfg. Co., which produces solder masks for printed circuit boards in Japan.