One of the largest tech companies in the world, Apple, will be constructing a $2 billion data “command center” powered entirely by renewable energy in Mesa, Arizona, according to recent reports.
The very large data center is set to be built at a 1.3 million-square-foot former manufacturing facility previously used by First Solar, before the company scaled back its manufacturing operations a few years ago. After First Solar was done with the site, Apple purchased the site with the intention of leasing it to the sapphire-glass maker GT Advanced Technologies.
With GT now bankrupt, though, that’s clearly not going to happen — hence the new plans, ones that were announced jointly by Apple and the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey. Given the fanfare of the announcement, it seems pretty likely that the company is quite serious about constructing the new “command center” for its global data center network.
Considering that the project represents one of the largest investments ever made by the company, the commitment seems worth questioning. But it does seem to be there.
Once completed, the project will result in the creation of more than 600 engineering and construction jobs. Construction will reportedly begin just as soon as legal control is regained over the site — with development ramping up very quickly, according to Apple.
While the specifics aren’t currently known, Apple does seem to be clear on the fact that it’ll be powered 100% by renewables — and that part of this will be via new solar energy projects developed with the local utility Salt River Project. These plants will reportedly total at least 70 MW in capacity.
Image Credit: Screen Capture