This Is What A 20MW Solar Farm Looks Like

One of the key features of Apple's upcoming North Carolina data centre is its mammoth field of solar panels, which aim to provide the data centre with the majority of its power. Although the solar farm in progress is a whopping 100 acres and aims to put out 20 megawatts, that's only 60 per cent of the data centre's expected draw.

Even unfinished, the field of panels is staggering in its magnitude. Kind of makes you wish you had one in your backyard, right? That and a backyard big enough to fit it. [GigaOm via Engadget]


    what a waste of space, nuclear ftw

      good idea! then we can just dump the waste in your back yard ok..

        Agreed, we can only go Nuclear once we can deal with the waste properly, as renewables are nowhere near as efficient yet.

          You can dump all the waste that an MSR would generate for powering my entire life in my back yard. Dig a hole 5 metres deep and I should be fine. It probably wouldn't even increase the background radiation found naturally around us all that much, definitely not going to give me cancer unlike my mobile phone. Then in like 20 years when the worst of the isotopes have decomposed you can do it again with the next 500 grams of waste for my children.

            Alternatively, dump it down some holes at coober pedy, or olympic dam or ...

      I agree that its sad that they cut down a forest to build the thing rather than, say, build it over a car park.

      Yeah, nuclear is great ...

      Well, until something goes wrong, when it becomes not great in insidious and far-reaching ways.

        Thorium Reactors FTW!!!

      Nuclear isn't actually as sustainable as many people think. If the whole world went nuclear today we would have fuel shortages within 100 years. Its a potential stop gap and has even greater potential when paired with various other forms such as Solar, Wind, Hydro and the greatest of them all tidal.

    On the subject of nuclear waste, Australia solved that problem decades ago, look up synrock and wonder why we haven't adopted it.

      Probably because it didn't work.

      My bad. I checked again and it does work just no one seems to want to use it.

      Well... synrock doesn't block radiation, just traps the waste itself to prevent it from contaminating ground water etc. So I don't know if it's a solution as such... Depends on the problem.

    OMG poor tree... : (

    Fffffff that's bigger than I thought it was from pics I saw a while back and providing 60% is actually not a bad effort considering but I wonder if thats based on the 20mw of that array or taking into account the second 20mw array still under way. Also aren't they doing some sort of gas power plant onsite too?

    Put the waste in a rocket and shoot it into the sun.

    Good on them!

    Nuclear... what is this? 1958? Yup, glorious nuclear energy for all, in the fuuuuturrrrreeee... Let me just pull up my silver undies.

      80% of Frances electricity comes from nuclear energy along with 30% of the power for the entire EU. Nuclear is the future and if everyone could get over this perceived danger we might actually make it.

        Just don't build them on fault lines or in the path of tsunamis! Australia would be a perfect country to build nuclear reactors due to our relatively stable tectonic plates and large uranium deposits.

    Wonder if that output will be generated or they just claim that and its actual power output will be nowhere near it. Plus if it is only 60% coverage what happens at night?

    Nuclear is great, if you use the right system design.
    Fast breeders are the ones you guys are all hating on. Do a little research on LFTR designs (Liquid Flouride Thorium).

    Best invention ever.

      no waste, no meltdown, virtually unlimited and near-free fuel.

      First, no commercial scale LFTR reactors exist. And secondly they bring a host of their own problems including (contrary to Charliem's claim) a waste that is highly radioactive. Check
      if you doubt.

        The waste is not only highly radioactive, but soluble, making storage extremely hard unless it was converted into a glass-like state.

        That's really neat though. I already have a small Tritium rod that lights up my keys in the dark. I'd love a completely decayed chunk of nuclear waste that had been converted into a transparent state for storage.

    Meh, a lot of money to pay for a technology that is fast evolving. In a few years they will be able to put in some hydrogen fuel cells. Hell even the humble solar panel is evolving by the year.

    Small in Comparison to the kogan job im working on!!

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