Manufacturing companies are now shifting towards solar farms. Lots of companies are contracting solar panel makers to place several panels near their factories that help power the facility and keep their carbon footprint low.
Placing a solar farm next to a manufacturing facility also means that power doesn’t have to travel far to reach it. Energy is lost during transmission as power lines are not perfect conductors. Having the power source next to their factory means less power is lost.
Solar farms have become the norm. In the State of California alone, there are more than a dozen large solar projects underway.
Apple announced the construction of its second solar farm that will be used to power a new data center in Nevada. It has contracted local utility, NV Energy, to place solar panels on 137 acres. NV Energy is in the process of being acquired by Mid-American Energy, which is owned by Berkshire-Hathaway.
Mid-American bought turnkey plants build by SunPower and First Solar. It uses its financial strength to sell notes against them via its Solar Star Funding unit.
Apple also has a solar farm in its data center in Maiden, North Carolina. SunPower provided the solar panels with Duke Energy supplied the fuel cells. Bloom Energy is in charge with the operations. In Nevada, NV Energy plans to utilize both concentrated solar power mirrors and photovoltaic panels, which means that the facility will be able to supply energy all throughout the day and night. Apple will power its data center with geothermal power from the local electrical grid until the solar array is completed.
Google also announced that it has invested $1 billion into wind and solar projects that will generate 2 gigawatts of energy. The Apple solar farm in Nevada is rated at 20 megawatts once it is completed.