Apple has confirmed to GigaOm.com its plans to build a very large solar energy site next to its data center in Reno, Nevada. The plant will deliver between 18 and 20 megawatts of power, which is said to be a very large capacity for a private firm to consider creating. Apple will also use a new system of solar concentrator mirrors to focus more light onto each solar electric cell and boost the efficiency of power generation.
Apple has two existing solar farms next to its North Carolina data center. The move toward solar comes after the company was previously criticized by bodies like Greenpeace for its environmental policies. In 2009 it was called the “least green” of several big IT companies. But Apple has been making a concerted effort in recent years to improve its eco impact, and earlier this year announced plans to build an eco-friendly Austin campus. Recently it hired former head of the EPA Lisa Jackson to become its environmental boss.