Earlier this week Apple announced that it joined the RE100 initiative with a pledge to source 100 percent of its energy from green sources and to help its suppliers to do as well. Already it’s making good on that promise and its latest 50 megawatt solar project, the Bonnybrooke plant, to power its Global Data Command Center in Mesa, AZ, is the most recent example.
Apple and Salt River Project (SRP), the local utility, signed a power purchase agreement for 25 years under which SRP will purchase the power produced by the solar farm at wholesale price and Apple will receive environmental benefits of the farm including the renewable energy credits it produces. The project follows Apple’s move earlier this year to create Apple Energy, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-approved subsidiary that allows it to sell excess energy produced by its renewable energy plants at its data centers and other installations.
The Bonnybrooke plant is now in its final commissioning stages and will soon start providing power to SRP’s customers—enough energy to power about 12,000 homes in the region.
“SRP is committed to working with our customers like Apple to meet their energy needs with the accelerated development of renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal, without increasing costs to our other customers,” said SRP General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bonsall. “This opportunity is not only economical but a powerful demonstration of how SRP can be a catalyst for economic development in the Valley.” The project, according to SRP, will reduce its carbon footprint, while helping it serve more than 1 million customers in the Phoenix area.
Elsewhere the company also has reduced its carbon footprint. At Climate Week NYC this week Lisa Jackson, Apple vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, announced that the company is powering all its operations in the US, China and 21 other countries with 100 percent renewable energy. She added that it powered 93 percent of all of its worldwide operations with renewable energy in 2015, as well.
The company also is pushing its suppliers to use more clean energy. Already its suppliers, among them Lens Technology, Solvay Specialty Polymers and Catcher Technology, have agreed to source their energy from renewable sources. The company said that by the end of 2018 its suppliers' commitments to renewable energy will represent over 1.5 billion kilowatt hours annually. That’s the equivalent of powering 1 million Chinese homes, the company stated.Tweet