Apple to buy into Australian solar and wind projects

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A recent survey found that most Aussies are willing to reward businesses which are powered by renewable energy sources. But how can your business make the switch to renewable energy sources? One way is to buy directly into renewable generation projects like Apple intends on doing with solar and wind energy projects in the country.

Tech giant Apple is 100% powered by renewable energy sources in Australia, but the company is now looking at how to reduce its carbon footprint even further by buying into more solar and wind projects.

Apple’s Lisa Jackson

Senior vice-president Lisa Jackson said Apple was looking to “move closer to the supply of electricity” in Australia through a direct stake in an energy project, rather than investing in a new power project on their own. “So we’re scouting, so we’re looking for more opportunities. I think there’s always a way to change the way we lower our carbon footprint in Australia, whether it be solar or wind,” Ms Jackson said in an interview at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

“We don’t always want to own our own generation facility, but it’s nice to be able to tell your customers where your energy comes from and which field.” In United States, Apple created, Apple Energy, to enter into a power purchasing agreement with the nearby California Flats solar farm to use energy at its existing headquarters.

It also allows Apple to be able to look for more energy opportunities in the US, on the generation side as well as a purchaser. The company also sells excess power back to the grid.

Apple pushing suppliers to become 100% renewable

As part of its environmental initiatives to tackle climate change, Apple is also asking its suppliers, including those in China, to become 100 per cent renewable to keep their business with the tech giant. About 75 per cent of its carbon footprint comes from its wider supply chain. It has set up a website to help suppliers become “green”, with Apple using its financial clout help suppliers secure affordable power purchasing deals with retailers across the world. It is also attempting to find ways to source of the components from its products, including the 20,000 parts in an iPhone, from re-usable or renewable (compostable) products, as part of a “closed loop” supply chain. Apple, which has a market capitalisation of $976 billion, is also close to the completion of its new headquarters which will be the largest LEED Platinum-certified building in North America.

Apple Park Mark II

At the new corporate campus, built on the old Hewlett-Packard site where 80 per cent of the land was occupied by buildings or concrete, only 20 per cent will be used for buildings, with the remaining 80 per cent used for open spaces, including 9,000 trees. Apple Park Mark II – which is rumoured to be costing up to a staggering $6 billion for its 12,000 employees – will also be 100 per cent renewable, with 75 per cent of the energy needs generated by solar panels on the roof of buildings and the car park.

There will also be biogas fuel cells and a scheme to re-use “grey” water. The new Apple Park will be a “breathing building” with vanes to allow air to flow over water vanes to cool it down. “We’re told it will be like sitting outside when you’re sitting inside the building,” Ms Jackson said. “When it comes to energy we think pretty deeply about our carbon footprint.”

About Leading Edge

Leading Edge Energy is a commercial energy broker and consultancy firm in Australia. We assist our clients by applying a holistic process for energy cost-reduction that includes rates minimization to energy efficiency upgrades to solar generation and battery storage, and more, to make electricity or gas use and costs more manageable.

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