Apple is planning to build a large solar array next to its new data center in Prineville, Oregon, after winning approval from the city and the county to extend its tax exemption to cover the solar farm. The solar array would most likely compare to another solar array Apple built in North Carolina next to its data center. Apple touts the center as the nation's largest end user–owned, onsite solar photovoltaic array. This 100-acre, 20-MW facility has an annual production capacity of 42 million kWh of clean, low-carbon, renewable energy.
"And we’re currently building a second 20-MW solar photovoltaic facility on nearby land," Apple states on its site.
According to Apple, Oregon allows the direct wholesale purchase of renewable energy through Direct Access, and "Apple is using this program to opt out of the default grid mix and directly access local renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal power — enough to power the entire facility. As a result, we’re working with two local utilities as well as a number of local renewable energy generation providers both to create Apple-owned renewable energy sources and to invest in and purchase other local renewable energy."
Data centers consume huge amounts of electricity, so it makes sense that big tech companies would look for sites that are amenable for renewable electricity and such large data centers. Oregon's enterprise zone program has no sales tax on the pricy computers that run server farms, according to The Oregonian.