Apple Beefs Up Its 'Green Cred' With $850 Million Solar Power Buy For Its HQ And Retail Stores

Apple took an important step in making good on CEO Tim Cook’s promise to make Apple’s new campus “the greenest building on the planet.” The company announced that it plans to spend $850 million as part of a massive, 25-year solar power purchase agreement with a solar power farm in California.

The new Apple HQ will draw its power from solar energy.

The farm, which will belong to Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar, has yet to be built. However, following its completion in 2016, the farm will supply Apple with up to 130 megawatts of power from what has been dubbed the “California Flats Solar Project.” The Monterey County solar farm will power the ring-shaped Apple headquarters that is currently under construction.  

“We expect to have a very significant savings because we have a fixed price for the renewable energy, and there’s quite a difference between that price and the price of brown energy,” Cook said at a Goldman Sachs technology conference, Reuters reported. “We know in Apple that climate change is real. The time for talk is passed. The time for action is now.”

Apple's headquarters under construction.
Apple's new headquarters, under construction.

Cook has long had a firm stance on climate change. He hired former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to oversee Apple’s environmental initiatives. Apple also has a history of using solar, wind, and hydropower to run its locations (particularly under Cook’s leadership), and recently converted a failed sapphire plant into a datacenter that will run on solar power.