Apple has bought a significant stake in several projects led by Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, the world’s largest wind power turbine maker.
It is Apple’s first major investment in wind power.
The Chinese firm sold its stakes in four project companies – basically, wind turbine fields in China – to Apple, according to regulatory filings seen by the South China Morning Post.
Apple’s not building wind power turbines, but has instead bought stakes in projects using the turbines, and will use the power the projects generate to sell renewable energy to the factories that make Apple products.
“Apple is committed to powering all of its facilities around the world with 100 per cent renewable energy, and is now working with its suppliers to power Apple’s product manufacturing with renewable energy,” Goldwind said in the filing.
It is the latest sign of Apple’s ongoing effort in the world of renewable energy and green technology.
Currently, Apple says that 93% of its operations around the world are powered by renewable energy, mostly solar power, but that figure does not include the factories that build iPhones and other Apple products.
However, Apple has been able to convince some of its factory partners to invest in renewable energy, including Foxconn, the main iPhone assembler, which is currently building 400 megawatts of solar in China.
The filing did not include the amount that Apple paid for its stake in the wind power farms, and it also said that the projects would no longer be included in Goldwind’s financial statements. Apple declined to comment for this story.
The filing about Apple’s wind investment was revealed the same week that Google said it will run entirely on renewable energy in 2017.
Both companies have been entering into large-scale deals with renewable producers for years. Aside from the environmental and public relations benefits, renewable energy like wind power has fewer price fluctuations and has been dropping in price in recent years as the technology is more widely deployed.
But one key difference between Apple and Google is that until this recent investment, Apple had relied mostly on solar power, whereas Google had used a significant amount of wind power.
Ultimately, while Apple and Google compete in several areas, like smartphones, they are working towards the same goals in renewable energy. In September, Apple’s head of environment and policy issues and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson spoke at a climate convention in New York.
“Apple is committed to running on 100 percent renewable energy, and we’re happy to stand beside other companies that are working toward the same effort,” Jackson said.