Apple Spends 850 Million Dollars on Solar Energy Farm

May 14, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. manufacture / ˌmæn yəˈfæk tʃər / (v.) – to produce something on a large scale
Example: The company manufactures different types of gadgets.

2. aspect / ˈæspekt / (n.) – a distinct feature or part of something
Example: She must consider every aspect of the agreement before signing the contract.

3. stable / ˈsteɪbl̩ / (adj.) – unlikely to change
Example: She hopes to marry a man with a stable income.

4. motivation / ˌmoʊtɪˈveɪʃn̩ / (n.) – a strong reason to do something
Example: Having a high salary is his motivation for staying in his job.

5. shift / ʃɪft / (v.) – to change (from one to another)
Example: We shifted to using solar energy to save money.


Read the text below.
Apple Inc., in partnership with a company that manufactures solar panels, will build a solar energy farm worth $850 million in California.

Apple signed a 25-year contract with First Solar, Inc. This contract includes the construction of the 2,900-acre [EY-ker] solar energy farm, which will start in mid-2015 and is expected to be done by the end of next year. This facility will provide 130 megawatts of electricity, enough to run Apple’s headquarters, offices, stores, and data center in California.

Aside from its environmental aspect, Apple’s decision to use solar energy may also be considered a good business deal. According to a spokesperson from First Solar, Inc., Apple made this decision because using solar energy saves more money than using other sources. This is because the contract gives Apple a stable supply of electricity at a fixed price. Apple had the same motivation for investing in on-site renewable energy technology in Las Vegas, North Carolina, and other places. 

For years, wind energy has been cheaper than solar energy. However, the International Energy Agency states that the price of solar energy is dropping faster than that of wind energy. The agency therefore predicts that by 2050, solar power could be the world’s largest source of electricity.

Apple is already using solar energy in some of its data centers. The company also invested money to convert an old sapphire glass plant into a solar-powered data center in about 10 years.

Aside from Apple, other companies have also shifted to renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy. These companies include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Ikea [ahy-KEE-yuh], and Wal-Mart.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of Apple’s decision to shift to solar energy? Why is that so?
·         Should other companies also shift to renewable energy? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What can companies do to further save on operation costs?
·         What types of business would you want to invest in? Kindly discuss your answer.

May 14, 2015