Apple invests $850m in Californian solar park

Apple is to invest $848m in First Solar’s 280MW California Flats plant, and in return will receive 130MW of its electricity.  

The 25-year power purchase agreement is largest ever signed to provide renewable energy to a commercial user. The remaining 150MW will be sold to the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. 

The 2,900-acre scheme will be built in Monterey County. Construction is to begin halfway through this year and be finished by the end of 2016. 

Joe Kishkill, the chief commercial officer for First Solar, said: "Apple’s commitment was instrumental in making this project possible and will significantly increase the supply of solar power in California.  

"Over time, the renewable energy from California Flats will provide cost savings over alternative sources of energy as well as substantially lower environmental impact." 

Apple own three other solar farms in the US, two in North Carolina (pictured) and one in Nevada. The energy from California Flats will be used to power Apple’s headquarters and a number of its stores. Apple powers all of its data centres with clean energy.

Photograph: An Apple solar farm in North Carolina (Apple)

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