Apple’s landmark solar power deal, announced by CEO Tim Cook this week, is a long-term sustainable energy solution that should generate enough to power essentially all of the company’s California operations, including the upcoming “spaceship” Campus 2, by the end of 2016.
The green energy will be purchased from First Solar, Inc., through an $848 million agreement that will last for at least 25 years, making it the largest of its kind in the industry. First Solar will be providing electricity through its forthcoming 2,900-acre California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County.
When he announced the project on Tuesday, Cook mistakenly said that Apple would be building the facility, but the CEO quickly corrected himself and called it a partnership. In fact, it’s First Solar — not Apple — that will build the new plant.
In total, the solar plant will output 280 megawatts of electricity, 130 megawatts of which will be bought by Apple. The remaining 150-megawatt capacity will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a separate long-term power purchase agreement.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors must still approve the project, but it’s expected that it will pass, as the facility already received the OK from the Monterey County Planning Commission. If all goes according to plan, construction on the 2,900-acre solar project will begin in mid-2015, and will be completed by the end of 2016.
The California Flats Solar Project will occupy 3 percent of a property owned by the Hearst Corporation in Cholame, Calif. That’s about a three-hour drive south from Cupertino, where Apple’s headquarters is located.
opinion ~ I believe the “spaceship” Campus 2 is self powered by solar panels on the roof of the building and that the old campus and the rest of Apple’s California operations, and much more, will be powered by this new solar farm.