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Apple's US$850 million solar plant rockets it to first place among U.S. corporations

Lucas Mearian | Feb. 13, 2015
The new facility is the largest such commercial solar deal in U.S. history.

The California project, however, dwarfs all previous ones.

"It's a huge project. This is a really significant investment by a single company in solar power. Apple is really taking it to the next level with its commitment to renewable energy," Johnson said.

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the new project will cover 1,300 acres in an area about an hour south of Apple's Silicon Valley headquarters. That area is the equivalent of about 1,000 football fields.

Cook said the plant will generate enough energy to power Apple's entire operation in California.

California, by far, leads the nation in deployment of solar power. Of 20GW (billion watts) of solar capacity currently deployed in the U.S., California installations represent 8.54GW. Arizona, with 1.9GW of solar capacity, and New Jersey with 1.3GW, are a distant second and third, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA).

Solar installations are growing at a staggering rate. Last year, solar capacity in the U.S. grew 40%, or by 7.2GW.

"More and more companies nationwide are beginning to invest it solar energy for both economic and environmental reasons," Johnson said.


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