Apple to get 17.5-MW solar project in North Carolina

SunPower Corp. in a July 17 filing notified the North Carolina Utilities Commission that it wants to transfer a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for a 17.5-MW solar project to Apple Inc.

Mike Petouhoff is the corporate agent for Apple, said the application, and his contact information is: Mike Petouhoff, Global Energy Program Leader, 1 Infinite Loop, MS 18-REF, Cupertino, CA 95014.

SunPower also notified the commission in the same July 17 filing that project construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014. In its September 2012 application for this project, SunPower said the project was due online by the end of 2013.

The commission in November 2012 issued the certificate for this project, covering a 17.5-MW (ac) solar photovoltaic facility to be located at 3123 Kelly Boulevard, Claremont, Catawba County, N.C. SunPower said at the time that it planned to sell the electricity generated by this facility to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC.

Said the website of computer-maker Apple about its renewable energy goals: “We’re investing in our own Apple onsite energy production as well as establishing relationships with third‑party energy suppliers to source renewable energy. As of 2013, we’ve already converted 73 percent of the energy for all our facilities — 86 percent for our corporate campuses and 100 percent for our data centers. And so far in 2014, we’re powering more than 140 U.S. retail stores with renewable energy.”

The website said about an Apple facility in North Carolina: “We designed our Maiden, North Carolina, data center from the ground up for energy efficiency, and it has earned the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council — the first data center of its size to be honored. On any given day, between 60 and 100 percent of the renewable energy it uses is generated onsite through biogas fuel cells and two 20‑megawatt solar arrays — the nation’s largest privately owned renewable energy installation — and we purchase any remaining power we need from entirely clean sources. The Maiden center generates 167 million kilowatt‑hours of renewable energy onsite per year — enough to power the equivalent of 13,837 homes.”

Notable is that the town of Maiden and the town of Claremont, where this new solar facility will be located, are only a few miles apart.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.