The article goes on to say that engineering plans show how Apple intends to keep soil that it moves around the site from washing into creeks and other areas, and that the site will have multiple gravel roads for access to its solar panels. The plans are called "Project Dolphin Solar Farm A Expanded." FYI: Project Dolphin was the code name given Apple's plans to build the $1 billion data center in Maiden, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Frankly, there aren’t that many data centers powered solely by solar. That’s mainly because data centers require such large amounts of energy that powering them via solar would very large installations of PV solar panels. But companies continue to research the problem.
Back in August, Advanced Micro Devices and Hewlett-Packard announced they are partnering with the state of New York and Clarkson University on a research project to figure how best to use renewable energy – including solar and wind – to power containerized data centers. In the initial phase of the $674,000 project (which is being funded by private sources and the N.Y. State Energy Research and Development Authority) Clarkson students will experiment with managing data through a distributed network that is powered by renewable energy. After that, hardware elements will be added, including HP’s POD with systems running AMD’s Opteron server processors, which the chip maker said are designed for greater energy efficiency and cloud computing.
This company, CG Tech Services, located in Shoreline, Washington, (which by the way began as a one-person show and now caters to small businesses) claims its data center for web and email hosting services is powered completely by solar.
According to the company’s site, the data center is powered by 120 on-site solar panels which generate electricity for the entire infrastructure, including the air conditioning, lighting, and servers at the data center. It is the first and only 100% completely solar powered, carbon free data center. The company reports that the emissions saved each year by the solar panels include 34,488+ pounds of CO2 (greenhouse), 50.6+ pounds of Nitrogen Oxide (smog), and 37.4+ pounds of Sulfate (acid rain).