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Apple’s Investment In Solar Farms Charges Up With Clean Energy

Raphael Cruz

Two years ago, Apple committed to being carbon neutral across its entire business, supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. This target would require the iPhone maker to cut its emissions by 75% while also developing carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25%. The company has made significant progress since then, having recently announced that its suppliers more than doubled their use of clean energy over the last year.

Part of Apple’s carbon-reduction program is built around solar farms, including an investment in a new solar farm in Texas that will help provide energy used when customers charge their iPhones or MacBooks.

Photo Courtesy Julian O’hayon

The farm covers 2,300 acres in Brown County, Texas, and will generate 300 megawatts of electricity after it’s completed later this year. It represents an early step in Apple’s aim to account for all the energy used by customers’ products on electric grids worldwide. Many of those products are still powered by fossil fuel-based energy sources, making the clean energy transition a top priority.

Apple is no newcomer to solar farms, and it already has a 130-megawatt solar farm that provides all its renewable energy in California. Supporting this is one of the largest battery projects in the United States, called California Flats. It’s a grid-scale energy storage project capable of storing 240 megawatt-hours of energy, enough to power more than 7,000 homes for one day. 

In addition, a pair of Apple suppliers – Solvay and Corning – are helping to support some of the largest solar farms in North Carolina and South Carolina as part of their environmental commitment to Apple. 

As of mid-April, 213 of Apple’s major manufacturing partners in 25 countries have pledged to power all of the company’s production with renewable electricity. In 2021, these renewable projects avoided 13.9 million metric tons of carbon emissions. Projects currently online will support greenhouse gas reductions equivalent to removing 3 million cars from the road for one year. 

Photo Courtesy American Public Power Association

“We are proud that so many of our manufacturing partners have joined our urgent work to address the climate crisis by generating more renewable energy around the world,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said in a press release. “Clean energy is good for business and good for the planet. By sharing what we learned in our own transition to renewables, we are helping point the way to a greener future.” 

Apple is investing directly in renewable projects around the world. This includes nearly 500 megawatts of solar and other renewable projects across Asia.Nearly all of Apple’s top suppliers have committed to using clean energy for production.

In Europe, 11 new Apple suppliers have made clean energy commitments over the last year, bringing the total to 25. The list includes Infineon, Viscom AG, and Lumileds.

Meanwhile, many Apple suppliers with operations in the U.S. have committed to clean energy. Notable new commitments have come from DuPont and Micron Technology.

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