Apple's Troubled Sapphire Plant To Gain New Life As $2B Data Command Center

Turning lemons into lemonade (on a massive scale), Apple is planning to pour $2 billion into a facility in Mesa, Arizona that just a few months ago was occupied by GT Advanced Technologies, which was supposed to be churning out sapphire-crystal displays for iPhone 6 devices. The investment will transform the factory into a command center for the company's global networks, creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

Stateside job creation was one of the big reasons Apple was interested in the facility in the first place. However, the business arrangement between Apple and GT Advanced Technologies turned sour, which eventually led to the latter filing for bankruptcy protection after it was unable to produce displays to Apple's satisfaction. Rather than let the 1.3 million square-foot facility sit there unused, Apple is making one of the largest investments it's ever made.

Solar Panels
Arizona is a hot spot for solar energy

"This multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we've ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S." Apple said in a statement.

Apple vowed that the data center will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, part of which it will harvest from a new local solar farm. In addition, Apple has vowed to invest in solar projects to power thousands of Arizona homes.

Greenpeace applauded Apple's continued and aggressive efforts towards renewable energy, adding that the company "has shown the business community that solar is ready, here and now, to power our economy."