Apple has long strove for clean energy-powered data centers for their iCloud infrastructure, and they're taking over a hydroelectric plant in Oregon to help ensure that they can maintain that goal. Apple was recently recognized by Greenpeace for the 100% green energy supply that powers their data centers, but that supply has largely come from solar installations and from local wind power supplies. Oregon is ripe with potential for hydroelectric power, and the Prineville data center will take advantage of that. As reported by The Oregonian:
Big data centers like the one Apple has just opened in Prineville use huge volumes of electricity – as much as a small city – to power thousands of computers that hold photos, music and all manner of other digital information.
Apple, like other leading data center operators, says it plans to power its data centers entirely with renewable energy. Currently, Apple says it buys “local renewable wind energy” for its Prineville facility. The company has explored the possibility of acquiring land for a huge solar array, like one it operates in North Carolina, but has indicated it may pursue other options instead.
The 45-Mile Hydroelectric Project was previously owned by EBD Hydro, who had secured $8.5 million in federal loans and grants to finance construction. The plant is projected to generate between 3 and 5 megawatts of electricity — a fraction of the power needed in a large data center like Apple's.