Apple's 50MW Bonnybrooke PV facility nearing operation

Apple is finalizing commissioning of its 50MW Bonnybrooke PV array near Mesa, Arizona, with utility Salt River Project (SRP) agreeing to purchase the full output at an undisclosed wholesale price over 25 years.

The amount of power sold to SRP – enough to supply about 12,500 homes - will compensate for what Apple utilizes at its nearby data center.  Apple will retain all of the environmental attributes generated from the solar facility.

SRP, a community-based, nonprofit public power utility, said purchasing the electricity will enable it to reduce its carbon footprint in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the iPhone maker, Bonnybrooke will produce 151 million/kWh of power annually.

“SRP is committed to working with our customers like Apple to meet their energy needs with the accelerated development of renewable resources, such as solar and geothermal, without increasing costs to our other customers,” said SRP chief executive Mark Bonsall.

Apple’s “command and data center” is located in a large building built by First Solar in 2011, which never occupied it, according to GT Advanced Technologies , which supplies sapphire-glass to Apple, did for a while but vacated it after filing for bankruptcy in 2014.

The Apple PV facility is among the largest built and owned by a technology company in the US.