A flying photographer has taken the first aerial photographs of Apple’s newest addition to its data centers, situated in Maiden, Carolina.

The aerial photograph, via Wired, shows a large white rectangular building, said to reflect the sun to keep the building cool. This block accounts for around one twenty forth of Apple’s 500,000 square foot facility. By reflecting the sun in this way, Apple could potentially be saving some of the energy costs that would be required to cool the plant.

The structures that stretch from either side are air conditioning units, blowing cold air back into the building. Apple is using environmentally friendly ways to generate this power. The power for these units is provided by an 100-acre farm of solar collectors, across the road from Apple’s site. This will convert biogas into electricity to supply the plant.

Apple has gone to some lengths to provide environmentally friendly energy for the facility. This comes at a time when there have been campaigns against its so-called non-ecofriendly methods of powering some of its server farms. Greenpeace has attacked Apple for its choice of energy supplier, coal powered Duke Energy, stating that: “It would make sense for the tech giant to join the chorus of people in the state who are now pushing Duke to retire its coal plants and start investing heavily in clean energy” Greenpeace is keen that Apple should be taking the lead in the discussion for greener energy, as they are one of the leading tech giants in the industry.

Apple has responded to Greenpeace by providing an analysis on their website of the Apple Environmental Footprint which can be seen publicly. Apple has also made clear its plans to fuel 60% of its Maiden server farm in North Carolina with Solar power and biogas.

However, Greenpeace believes only 10% of this will meet Apple’s electricity needs, with the rest of the energy generated by coal. In spite of this Greenpeace acknowledge Apple’s attempts at becoming a greener company and have re-scored Apple higher on its “How clean is your cloud?” assessment.


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