Apple Inc has revealed its plans for a new fuel cell installation in North Carolina, USA. The computer giant has filed an application for the fuel cell facility, which will support a data centre, with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). The company is also planning to install a 20 MW solar power array at the 46 500 square metre site near the town of Maiden.

Apple’s filing reveals that the fuel cell facility will have a generating capacity of 4.8 MW and will be fuelled by directed biogas. It will comprise 24 fuel cell modules with a capacity of 200 kW each, and will be the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the USA.

The filing also states that the first fuel cell modules could be operational by June 2012, and it is anticipated that all systems will be online by November 30, 2012.

The fuel cell and solar energy system in Maiden, N. C., are part of Apple’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint, which in 2011 stood at 23.1 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to installing the largest end user-owned solar array, the Maiden data centre uses a number of energy efficiency technologies, including a chilled water storage system, variable speed fans, a white cool roof design and LED lighting combined with motion sensors.