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Apple’s 2012 Environmental Update includes the nation’s largest end user–owned, onsite solar array

You can see the area for solar has been cleared away in a picture taken earlier this week. Thanks PilotJohn!

Apple has just published its 2012 Facilities Report and Environmental Update detailing Apple’s environmental footprint, contributions, and energy savings throughout Apple retail stores, R&D buildings, and its data centers. Apple said in 2011 it recorded energy savings of 5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in Cupertino, and “dramatic reductions” in overall energy use. The report also detailed Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina data center as an example of the company’s “commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our facilities through energy efficient, green building design.”

In the report we learn a few things about the Maiden, North Carolina data center, which features a “white cool-roof” for increased solar reflectivity. Surrounding the facility will be the largest end user–owned, onsite solar array in the US consisting of a 100-acre, 20-megawatt facility that will provide approximately “42 million kWh of clean, renewable energy” each year.

Apple is also building the biggest non-utility fuel cell installation in the US right next to the data center. That 5-megawatt facility will provide “40 million kWh of 24×7 baseload renewable energy” every year, according to Apple.

While noting the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the facility LEED Platinum certification, Apple said “no other data center of comparable size that has achieved this level of LEED certification.” It also detailed the construction of the new data center which used “14 percent recycled materials, diverted 93 percent of construction waste from landfills, and sourced 41 percent of purchased materials within 500 miles of the site.”

Apple has converted 54 million kWh worth of consumption per year to purchased renewable energy through several facilities including Cork, Ireland; Munich, Germany; Austin, Texas; and Elk Grove, California. According to Apple, all of those facilities are currently powered with 100 percent renewable energy resources.

In the report Apple also went into detail regarding its energy consumption and “renewable energy disclosure” for the past year. In 2011, Apple facilities worldwide consumed approximately 493 million kWh of electricity and 3 million therms of natural gas. Apple claimed to have dodged nearly  30 million kilograms of CO2e emissions through the use of renewable energy initiatives. To accompany the report, Apple also updated its environmental site with stats related to the company’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions by product.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.