By: Christian Zibreg
In another environmentally friendly move, Apple and SunPower Corporation today announced a partnership that will result in two solar power plants, currently under construction in China, marking SunPower’s first international solar collaboration with the iPhone maker.
Located in the ABA Region of China’s Sichuan Province, these power plants will initially provide a total of forty megawatts of power. This is just the start, Apple’s vice president for environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson, told The Associated Press.
Both found in the environmentally-preserved ABA Region of China’s Sichuan Province, when complete, these two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd., SunPower’s project development joint venture, and Apple.
The first solar power plant is located in Hongyuan County and the other is found in Ruoergai County. As mentioned before, they will be twenty megawatts each, providing a total of forty megawatts of power.
All told, Apple and SunPower expect the projects to provide up to eighty million kilowatt-hours per year of eco-friendly energy.
The Hongyuan site, which already generates two megawatts of power, utilizes single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors that reflect light onto SunPower’s Maxeon cells.
The dual-use approach means that pasture farming can continue while power is generated, providing agricultural benefits to the local farmers.
According to the media release, Maxeon’s cells file as the world’s “most efficient commercially available mass-produced solar cells.” The two sites are projected to come online by the fourth quarter of 2015.
Lisa Jackson, who previously worked as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator during President Barack Obama’s first term, said that “Before we go somewhere else and start asking and eventually requiring clean energy, you want to make sure you show folks how to do it”.
Apple also partners with SunPower on solar power plants in the United States, including sites in California, Nevada and North Carolina.
“We continue to value our partnership with Apple and commend them for their global environmental commitment,” said Tom Werner, SunPower’s president and CEO.
In another eco-friendly move, Apple announced this morning buying a forest 2.5 times the size of Manhattan to create sustainable eco-friendly product packaging.