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BRIGHT IDEA

Apple will run all its operations in Singapore—including its first store there—on solar power

Reuters/Edgar Su
Plenty of sun, plenty of roofs.
  • Steve Mollman
By Steve Mollman

Weekend editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple will power all its operations in Singapore—including its first retail location in there–with renewable energy. The iPhone maker confirmed to Reuters on Sunday (Nov. 15) that Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group will provide it with 100% renewable electricity from solar energy systems built atop more than 800 buildings.

The systems will generate 50 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power the equivalent of 9,000 homes. Apple will receive 33 MW of the new project’s capacity, according to Reuters.

The news is the latest in a string of Apple announcements about renewable energy. In October it announced it would build 200 MW of solar power in China and push suppliers to make similar commitments. That came on top of two previously announced solar farms in the country producing a combined 4 MW of power.

Earlier this year Apple said it was partnering with First Solar to build a massive farm of solar panels to power its upcoming “Campus 2″  headquarters in California. The “spaceship campus“ will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources, the company has said.

“We’re doing this because it’s right to do,” Tim Cook said at the time to an audience at a Goldman Sachs event. “But you may also be interested to know that it’s good financially to do it.”

In any case, Apple can afford to make investments in renewable energy, however long they take to pay off. It’s sitting on giant pile of cash:

Surprisingly, Apple does not yet have a retail store in Singapore, a major shopping hub in Southeast Asia. The city-state gets hordes of shoppers from nearby countries, especially Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation. This year, Jakarta alone will send Singapore some 1.7 million visitors, who will spend about $2.7 billion, according to the MasterCard 2015 Global Destination Cities Index.

Apple products in Singapore are currently sold through third-party retailers, mobile carriers, and its online store. The company did not disclose the exact location of the upcoming store, but the Straits Times reported last month on a fitness chain moving out of a prime spot on Orchard Road—Singapore’s leafy, mall-lined shopping mecca—to “make way for Singapore’s first Apple store in 2016.”

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