Apple has been facing criticism that its local partners are heavy polluters and this will do a bit to sort them out.
In addition to bringing on an additional 200 MW in northern, eastern and southern China, the tech giant said it will launch an initiative to “drive its manufacturing partners to become more energy efficient and to use clean energy for their manufacturing operations”.
Apple said the 200 megawatts projects will produce the equivalent of the energy used by more by than 265,000 Chinese homes in a year. We are not sure how much that is in terms of factory plants. Chinese homes do not use as much energy as their Western counterparts.
Apple supplier Foxconn said it will build 400 MW of solar energy projects by 2018, starting in Henan province.
“These projects go beyond Apple’s operations in China to help our suppliers adopt clean renewable energy,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said in a statement.
The announcement comes months after Apple said it would build its first major solar energy project in China, two 20 MW solar farms in Sichuan province, with solar developer SunPower.
The company now says its China operations are “carbon neutral” because the solar installations produce more energy than is used at its offices and retail stores throughout the country.
The move was praised by Greenpeace who said the outfit had taken a “major step forward” in greening its supply chain.
“We hope that Samsung, Microsoft and other IT companies will follow their lead in manufacturing their cutting-edge devices with a 21st century energy supply,” said Gary Cook, IT policy analyst at Greenpeace.