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Apple buys hydroelectric power project in United States

Posting in Technology

  

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Water from the Deschutes River will feed the project.
 
Apple is well-known for its plans to harness renewable energy sources and the acquisition of a hydroelectric power project in Central Oregon brings these plans closer to completion.

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


— By on April 14, 2014, 3:03 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure