Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ, California offices and stores to go 100% solar

12 February 2015

NEW YORK: Apple's new ‘spaceship’ style headquarters in Silicon Valley and all of the tech company’s offices and stores in California will be soon completely solar powered, CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Tim Cook announced Apple will buy solar power for about US$850 million from a solar farm First Solar is building in Monterey County, California.

The statement echoes the Apple CEO’s rare public appearance last September at Climate Week NYC, a global summit convened by The Climate Group. Here Tim Cook stated Apple is the largest private solar owner in the US and that the new Apple HQ will be the greenest building in the world, a signal to the rest of Silicon Valley to follow suit. 

During the launch of low carbon collaboration We Mean Business and the report The Climate Has Changed: Why bold, low carbon action makes business sense at Climate Week NYC, he said: “Apple has a core value of leaving the world better than we found it. There is no one out there that wants the planet to continue to go in the wrong direction. The long term consequences of not doing anything for climate change are huge.”

Video: Apple CEO Tim Cook at Climate Week NYC: “The time for inaction has passed”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, commented: “As Tim Cook said at the Climate Week NYC, climate action is great for the environment and it’s also good for economics. Businesses are increasingly showing how the low carbon pathway is the only right choice to make economy grow. Our program RE100 demonstrates going 100% renewable protects from the volatility of the fossil-fuel price, and forward-thinking companies – like the ones that joined the We Mean Business coalition –are asking governments and policymakers to support these bold actions trough a clear and long-term framework.”

With the capacity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, Apple’s new solar farm will be 2,900-acres large and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. It will provide 130 megawatts of capacity to Apple, which signed a 25-year purchase agreement. The project’s remaining 150 megawatts will go to two electric companies.

You won't have price volatility from other fuel sources. The fuel is free,” said First Solar spokesman Steve Krum. “It's competitively priced from other options they would have.”

In a statement, Apple remarked its data centers are already powered by 100% renewable energy, with 86% of corporate campuses already using clean energy. So far, more than 140 stores in the US use renewable energy.

We expect to have a very significant savings because we have a fixed price for the renewable energy, and there's quite a difference between that price and the price of brown energy,” Tim Cook added. “We know in Apple that climate change is real. The time for talk is passed; the time for action is now.”

Tim Cook

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple at the launch of 'We Mean Business' at the Climate Week NYC Opening Day: "Time for inaction has passed. Core value for us is to leave world better than we found it".

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