Apple doesn't toot its horn much about its efforts to reduce its corporate carbon footprint. (I don't count the Apple and the Environment website that nobody I know has read.)
According to Fehrenbacher, the easiest way to sense the scale of Apple's clean energy operations is to drive past its huge Maiden, N.C., data center on U.S. 321.
"In the world of clean energy," she writes, "there are a lot of ways that companies can pay to green their operations — many buy renewable energy credits that offset consumption of fossil fuel based energy. But building solar farms and a fuel cell farm next to a data center could be the surest way to add clean power in a way that can be validated and seen by the public. It seems like Apple execs thought if they were going to commit to the whole idea of clean energy, it was going to be all the way.
"The effects of the clean energy projects on Apple's brand also can't be discounted. Apple has a powerful and potentially fragile consumer brand, and the data center in North Carolina was a major push for Apple to move more heavily into cloud services. A record for the largest privately-owned solar farm in the U.S., could add significant branding capital to a brand trying to stay on top."
Perhaps. But doing its part to reduce global warming doesn't seem at all out of character for Apple.
My three favorite facts from Fehrenbacher's story:
A giant solar array? An huge fuel cell facility? A second 500,000 sq. ft. data center?
I'm not sure I buy the main reason Jefferies' Peter Misek gave today for raising his Apple (AAPL) price target to $800 from $699: His "increased confidence" Apple is going to release the much-rumored iTV in the fourth quarter of 2012.
My own confidence that Apple is going to get into the television manufacturing business is MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 5, 2012 11:42 AM ET
For reasons unclear, the online store was not responding Wednesday morning
[UPDATE: As of 11:10 a.m. EST the store seems to be functioning properly. No new products that I can see. Never did get an explanation from Apple PR.]
[UPDATE 2: As of noon EST, the site seems to be misbehaving again. Still no word out of Apple.]
[UPDATE 3: Reader Mehdi Daoudi of Catchpoint Systems reports that the site had fully recovered MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 17, 2011 9:51 AM ET
One of the mysteries surrounding the 500,000-square foot server farm Apple (AAPL) has famously constructed in a small North Carolina town called Maiden -- besides its ultimate purpose -- is why it didn't show up on Google Earth.
We knew what it looked like, thanks to the local Fox TV affiliate, a trespassing photographer and a local real estate agent who conducted a couple of video flybys that ended up on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 1, 2011 6:46 AM ET
The new facility in Santa Clara will grow to 3/4 the size of Apple's North Carolina data center
In what could be a new sign that Apple (AAPL) is stepping up its efforts in so-called cloud computing, Data Center Knowledge reported Wednesday that the company has signed a long-term lease for several megawatts of critical computing power from a data center under construction in Santa Clara, Calif., less than 10 miles MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 18, 2011 3:56 PM ET
An analyst imagines everything it might be when -- and if -- it opens this spring
Among the people who follow Apple (AAPL) closely, the massive server farm the company is constructing in Maiden, N.C., has achieved near mythic status. It has become the answer to every unanswered question about Apple's troubled online strategy, from what Steve Jobs was thinking when he green-lighted Ping to how MacBook Air users are supposed MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 23, 2011 6:13 AM ET
Could Tuesday be the day Apple (AAPL) lights up on its billion-dollar server farm in North Carolina, launching its entry into cloud computing? That's what the big tease that appeared on the front page of Apple.com Monday morning suggests. [UPDATE: See One more time: The Beatles on iTunes? and Behind the Beatles-iTunes deal.]
Among the threads that seem to be coming together this week:
The 500,000-square-foot data center in Maiden, N.C. -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 15, 2010 11:01 AM ET
Its Maiden, N.C., data center, said to be doubling in size, is still not visible on Google Maps
How is that the only photographic evidence that Apple (AAPL) is building a giant data center in western North Carolina is a video fly-over shot eight months ago by a Charlotte real estate agent and a snapshot that appeared in the Hickory Daily Record three months earlier?
[UPDATE: There's a new flyover! Shot by MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 27, 2010 11:01 AM ET
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