Apple Plants Its Second Solar Farm, in Nevada
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The hottest trend in manufacturing these days may be the solar farm.
A factory at a greenfield site with ample land around it contracts with a solar-panel maker and a utility to erect a large number of panels near the site, which help power the factory and keep everything green. Lots of companies now have them, even Crayola Crayons, notes Energy.Gov.
Putting a solar farm next to a factory also means that the power doesn't have far to go. Having a power source hundreds of miles away means energy is lost during transmission, because power lines aren't perfect conductors. Check the inverter box that sits between your laptop and the wall sometime. That warmth you feel is energy being lost in the form of heat.
Solar farms are quickly becoming routine projects. As of last September, California alone had more than a dozen large solar projects underway.
Apple is contracting directly with the local utility, NV Energy
NV Energy is in the process of being acquired by Mid-American Energy, which in turn is owned by Berkshire-Hathaway
Mid-American, in turn, was among the utilities which pioneered in this area, buying turnkey plants built by First Solar
Apple did a similar deal for its data center in Maiden, N.C., with SunPower providing panels backed by fuel cells from Duke Energy