May 19, 2012 09:20 AM EDT
Apple, following Greenpeace International's high-profile criticism over its energy consumption, finally has decided to go completely green with its 500,000- square-foot data center in Maiden, North Carolina, by the end of the year.
Earlier this week, Greenpeace demonstrators criticized the iPad and iPhone makers for using excessive coal and launched protest in front of Apple's Cupertino headquarters. As a result of which, Apple now has announced that the company is building its own facilities that will provide over 60 percent of the clean power that it needs.
The remaining 40 percent of power needed at the data center would come from the local providers of renewable energy, reported the tech giant.
"On-site energy generation minimizes our dependence on the grid and reduces our environmental impact," Apple said.
"And when our solar arrays and fuel cells are operating, Apple's Maiden datacentre will be the most environmentally sound data centre ever built."
And, that's not all. Bloomberg reported that Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer in an interview told them that none of three Apple's data centers (Newark, California, and Prineville) would be using coal anymore.
"We are leading the industry," he said. "All three of our data centers will be coal free, which is an industry first for anybody of our size."
Additionally, the company is purchasing a 150-acre site near the Maiden facility and the company expects to generate 124 million kilowatt-hours of power a year, enough to power 10,874 homes.
While Oppenheimer declined to comment on the Greenpeace protests and stressed that the company has already planned to go green since last year, Gary Cook, an analyst at Greenpeace International, welcomed the decision saying, "Apple's announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal."