Apple in big solar power deal, market cap closes over $700 billion

Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:28pm EST
 
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By Christina Farr and Nichola Groom

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote) will buy about $850 million of power from a new California solar farm to cut its energy bill, the iPhone maker said on Tuesday as its stock market value closed above $700 billion for the first time.

The First Solar Inc (FSLR.O: Quote) plant, with the capacity to power the equivalent of 60,000 homes, will be used to supply electricity for Apple's new campus in Silicon Valley, and its other offices and 52 stores in the state, Chief Executive Tim Cook said at a Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco.

Cook addressed investors as Apple's stock market value closed at $710.74 billion for the first time, buoyed by record sales of big-screen iPhones and a December-quarter profit that was the largest in corporate history.

Apple was already the world's largest publicly traded company by stock value.

The plant in Monterey County, California will also power an Apple data center in Newark, California that already relies on solar power.

"We expect to have a very significant savings because we have a fixed price for the renewable energy, and there's quite a difference between that price and the price of brown energy," Cook said.

"We know in Apple that climate change is real. The time for talk is passed," he added. "The time for action is now."

First Solar, based in Tempe, Arizona, manufactures solar panels and builds solar power plants, many of which it sells to power producers.   Continued...

 
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson