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Apple Nears Completion Of Futuristic, Solar-Powered Campus

Posted by Joseph Bebon on February 23, 2017

Tech giant Apple has announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus in Cupertino, Calif., will be ready for employees to begin occupying it in April. With 17 MW of rooftop solar, Apple Park will run one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world.

The company says the process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six months, and construction of the buildings and parklands is scheduled to continue through the summer. Apple notes the campus’ ring-shaped, 2.8-million-square-foot main building is clad entirely in massive panels of curved glass.

Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, Apple Park replaces 5 million-square-feet of asphalt and concrete with grassy fields and over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees, and it will be powered by 100% renewable energy. It is also the site of the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, projected to require no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year, according to Apple.

The company notes the late Steve Jobs, Apple’s famous co-founder and CEO, would have turned 62 this Friday, Feb. 24. To honor his memory and his enduring influence on Apple and the world, the theater at Apple Park will be named the Steve Jobs Theater. Opening later this year, the entrance to the 1,000-seat auditorium is a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder, 165 feet in diameter, supporting a metallic carbon-fiber roof.

“Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team, as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world, and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.”

Apple is no stranger to sustainability: The company has a goal to power all of its operations worldwide with 100% renewable energy, and it recently entered a 200 MW solar deal with NV Energy to help meet Apple’s renewable energy needs for its Reno, Nev., data center.

A video of the new Apple Park, as well as the installation of its solar panels, is available here.

Photo courtesy of Apple

California. Lawmaker Seeks 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard

Posted by Betsy Lillian on February 22, 2017

A bill that seeks to accelerate the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by five years, as well as establish an ultimate target of 100% renewables, has been proposed in California.

S.B.584 was introduced on Feb. 17 by State Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-District 24, who also serves as Senate president pro tempore.

California currently has an RPS of 50% by 2030. Under the senator’s newly proposed bill, the renewables mandate would be sped up to 50% by 2025 and 100% by 2045.

Notably, if passed, the bill would put California on par with Hawaii, the only other U.S. state with a 100% RPS.

On the same day he proposed the new bill, De Leon released a statement on Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, he noted what clean energy is bringing to California

“We’ve proven that you can protect the environment and grow jobs,” he said. “We’ve delinked economic growth from greenhouse-gas emissions and helped turn clean energy into a pillar of our economy that now supports over half a million jobs in our state.”

In 2015, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the 50% RPS bill into law. This legislation, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, was also sponsored by De Leon. (Previously, California had an RPS of 33% by 2020.)

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