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Apple’s spending $850 million to power its empire with solar energy

California gets a lot of sun, too much at the moment in fact, but it is an undeniably useful resource in its own right and Apple just spent a lot of money to harness its power.

Since Tim Cook first sat in the driving seat as CEO at Apple back in 2011, he’s made a concerted effort to considerably improve his company’s green credentials. By mid-2014 he’d ensured that 75 per cent of all Apple’s facilities worldwide were tied into some form of renewable energy; be that hydroelectric, geothermal, wind or solar and it’s this last natural power source that he’s betting big on in 2015.

In what Cook called the “biggest, boldest and most ambitious project ever,” at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference in San Francisco yesterday, he’s investing $850 million of Apple money in the largest developer of solar farms in the US: First Solar. They’ll be tasked with creating a 1300-acre solar farm in Monterey County, California capable of powering all 52 of Apple’s Cali-based retail stores as well as a data centre and the intriguing new Apple campus, still currently under construction.

Apple already made headlines when it confirmed that a number of its other data centres were already running entirely on renewable energy sources and this will push its lead over key rivals like Amazon and Google even further.

Solar is still a relatively pricey endeavour, but as Bloomberg points out, the cost of implementing this form of green power is dropping faster than any other renewable source out there right now and a public push from such a high profile company like Apple is going to be good news for the future of the technology.

Cook’s announcement also had a pretty notable impact on Apple’s finances too, which reached record highs of over $700 billion.

Do you use solar energy in your home or your life yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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