Recently, Apple has been making plans to sell the excess solar power across USA, from its Nevada and Cupertino solar farms. The company has been allowed to sell this excess power as it is not solely an electricity company, which should not affect the market prices of power. Apple has decided to sell this power to residential and commercial end customers.
Apple’s Solar Journey
Amongst others, Apple has three 20 MW plants in North Carolina, and another 20 MW plant in Reno, Nevada. Apple plans to buy more solar energy in Nevada in the future. Earlier in 2016, Nevada also approved another Apple’s solar farm. The company has entered into a number of different deals/ arrangements to buy solar power in the past too. Its Fort Churchill project was a bit unusual at the time it was signed with NV Energy, in 2012. It decided to own the project built by SunPower, and later lease it to NV Energy over a period of 20 years. In another recent deal (Boulder City II) where SunPower is the developer, Apple will be the end customer in a PPA signed with NV Energy.
While peers like Google, Amazon, Wal Mart etc. Are also renewable energy buffs, they have resorted largely to wind power. With solar energy getting cheaper and more efficient, the sun is the future. Apple Inc started using solar power, even at a time when it wasn’t very affordable. Currently, 93% of Apple’s global facilities depend on electricity generated by renewable sources of energy like the sun and wind. It is amazing to witness the fact that big tech companies like Apple are ready to pay a premium price for solar energy, over traditional power.
Electricity rates are expected to rise in the future and Apple is positioning itself in a good place by increasing its stakes in solar, and partnering with industry leaders like First Solar and SunPower – two of USA’s largest solar companies. This association with Apple is also good for the solar market to develop and expand better, since Apple is a huge brand name and has a legacy of its own. I am sure it will open paths for peers and other smaller companies to join the league!