Is Apple becoming the greenest data center operator? Fuel Cell added to Solar

A friend tipped me off on Apple's fuel cell projects on Saturday, but I've been busy and couldn't get to the post until today.

There is news on the fuel cells following Apple's news on solar powering 20MW.

ArsTechnica has a post pointing to other information.

Apple building fuel cells to help power N. Carolina data center

Apple plans to build a massive fuel cell facility in North Carolina to accompany the data center that powers iCloud. The company revealed its plans as part of a filing with the North Carolina Utilities Commission and was first reported by the Greensboro News & Observer, which noted over the weekend that the project will be the "national's largest such project not built by an electric utility company."

If you look at the official filing you can see a bit more details.


GigaOm's Katie Fehrenbacher speculates that the fuel cells are Bloom Energy.

Apple didn’t name the fuel cell supplier in the filing, but the fact that it will use 200 kW fuel cells points the finger even more solidly at the Valley’s Bloom Energy. Bloom Energy sells both 100 kW (ES-5400) and 200 kW (the ES-5700) fuel cells. UTC, another fuel cell maker, only sells a 400 kW fuel cell.

I wrote last month that it looked like Bloom Energy is the supplier for Apple’s fuel cells. This local report states that Bloom Energy is indeed the supplier for Apple’s fuel cell farm, but doesn’t say where it got that info. That local report also says that Apple “will extract hydrogen from natural gas supplied by Piedmont Natural Gas,” and then “will arrange to produce landfill methane gas or some other biogas to offset its natural gas use.”