After being bashed by Greenpeace, and their iData center in North Carolina ranked as the most dirtiest, power consuming facility, Apple has revealed the details of its Maiden facility showing off their green thumb to the world. According to their 2012 facilities report the Maiden facilities include lots of energy efficient design elements such as a chilled water storage for less power consumption, free outside air cooling system, LED lighting combined with motion sensors and more.

Apple's Maiden

Apple's Server Farm

Photos: Apple

Now Apple is building the largest onsite sollar array right next to its Maiden. According to them it will supply 42 million kWh of clean, renewable energy annually, and a fuel cell installation powered by biogas. Apple’s data center received the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification which is the organisations highest honor.

“Our goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix, and we have major projects under way to achieve this — including building the nation’s largest end user-owned solar array and building the largest nonutility fuel cell installation in the United States,” Apple’s site reads.

This story made a lot of headlines, reading the same praise for this move by Apple, but what are the real stats from this improvement? Greenpeace‘s Gary Cook says, it’s not so green after all.

iCloud Data Center Details Estimated Annual Energy Produced (Consumed) MWh % of energy for 100MW Data Center
Estimated energy demand of $1Billion iCloud Center (Greenpeace figures) 876,000 100%
Estimates of how much iCloud Center demand is met by renewables:
Energy from 20 MW Solar Farm (Apple figures) 42,000 4.8%
US DoE Estimates of 20 MW Solar Farm (Maiden, NC-fixed axis) 25,291 2.9%
US DoE Estimates of 20 MW Solar Farm (Maiden, NC 2 Axis) 32,920 3.8%
5 MW Fuel Cell 43,800 5%
Combined RE (Apple figures) 85,800 9.8%
Combined RE (DoE w/Fixed Axis) 69,091 7.9%












As you see they are not of the hook yet. Apple is aware that 98% of their carbon emissions come from manufacturing, transportation, use and recycling of its products. Just 2 percent is estimated to come from its facilities. Apple has reduced its carbon footprint with green facilities, and a number of its products, showing us that they care about the environment.