Apple About to Own the Largest Non-Power Company Fuel Cell Installation

Posted by at 10:28 am on December 5, 2012

According to paperwork filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission, Apple intends to double the size of the Catawba County fuel cell project on the site of the Apple’s data center in Maiden, NC. The move to 10 megawatts of power production will make it the largest installation of fuel cell technology not run by an electric utility. A total of fuel cells on the property are expected to be brought on line by January.

The cells will be fueled by filtered methane gas from a local landfill, or “directed biogas” will be injected into a natural gas pipeline. The directed biogas is considered a renewable evergy resource that complies with North Carolina’s green-energy regulations.

Apple says phase one of the project, 4.8 megawatts of power generation, began testing in October. The computer manufacturer applied for a permit on November to enlarge the project. Excess power generated by the project will be sold to Duke Energy.

Biogas isn’t the only “green” energy source at the Apple data center in the state. Solar arrays will ultimately cover 250 acres, making them some of the largest in the industry. Apple sources also revealed that the company eventually intends to go coal-free at all three of its newest data centers.

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