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Apple Building 100-Acre Solar Array

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While Apple addresses concerns over working conditions for its employees in China (the tech giant recently gave everyone a 25% salary hike), the company is also firming up its sustainability record.

We’ve already told you about their grand plans to turn the new Apple HQ into an off-grid, LEED-certified, green space – and now comes word that their new massive data center in North Carolina is also a sustainable installation.

The reveal comes thanks to Apple’s 2012 Environmental Update doc – which outlines the steps the company is making to decrease its footprint and phase out fossil fuels.

Apple is working on two gigantic projects to feed clean energy to the data center; the first of which is a 100-acre solar array on the land surrounding the building. According to the doc, once completed, this array will be the largest end-user owned in the country – supplying 42 million kWh of clean, renewable energy annually.

The second is a fuel cell installation that, like the above, will the largest operational system of its kind not run by a national utility. The 5-megawatt facility will be powered by 100 percent biogas and provide more than 40 million kWh of baseload renewable energy annually.

Apple's North Carolina Data Center

And what about the building itself? Not only is it LEED Platinum Certified, but it also carries such efficient features a white roof, chilled water storage system (more efficient cooling), LED lighting, and real-time energy feedback. During construction, Apple also managed to divert 93% of waste materials from the landfill and source 41% of purchased materials within 500 miles of the site.

Hey – when you’re sitting on more than $100 billion in cash, you can definitely afford to build these things. Great to see Apple making the commitment. Now, how about that conflict-free iPhone 5…

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