The tech giant has taken over a hydroelectric plant just outside of Prineville, Oregon. Cascading water is used to spin large turbines, which in turn generates electricity without the need for fossil fuels.
Apple wanted the site for a very specific reason: the promise to run its data centers on 100 percent renewable electricity. As one of the largest and most well-known technology players worldwide, its energy needs are vast -- and going renewable provides the firm not only with a way to sustain its business as fossil fuel costs rise, and it helps make Apple seem cleaner and more environmentally-friendly.
At the moment, Apple says that its data centers -- used to run services such as iCloud -- are powered by 100 percent renewable energy. However, the majority of this has to be purchased by third-party suppliers.
By investing in its own energy sites, Apple not only cuts out the profit-stealing middleman, but gives itself control over energy output. The iPad and iPhone maker may also be able to sell surplus energy to others in the future, especially in light of its recent purchase of solar farms across the United States.
The hydroelectric power plant is small, so it will take some time before the data center nearby can be self-sufficient, but 3-5 megawatts is at least a start.
Read on: Oregon Live
Image credit: Flickr/Leslie Butler