Apple Inc has opened a new store in San Francisco's Union Square and are following in the footsteps of Ikea, Walmart and others that will be running their stores on completely renewable energy. The store would be their flagship store which will be showcasing the Apple brand. The store spent $23.6 million on the new store's construction.
"The store is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, including power produced by photovoltaic panels integrated into the building's roof," said the press release from Apple announcing the opening of the store. Photovoltaic panels that are integrated into the roof instead of being positioned on top of it are called Building Integrated Solar Photovoltaic (BIPV). However, a writer for Electrek thinks Apple is up to something else based on the photovoltaic panels that have been put up at the new flagship store. It was the pricing that intrigued the writer. He pointed out that, according to Buildzoom, the photovoltaic array that was integrated into the roof cost Apple $800,000 and would push out 50kW of solar energy. Why would they need that much energy connected to one store? His question is: "What did they build?"
The discrepancy - to the curious few - of this new flagship construction is that a normal 50,000W solar system retails for $150,000, however, Apple used $800,000. Some analysts say that Apple could be selling the power they generate in their new flagship store back to the grid to assist with renewable energy that can be then sold to customers through utilities or will eventually sell their own energy to consumers. Based on the cost-effective construction of the building - or at least that's what it looks like - the hefty price tag on the photovoltaic system they are using is either a case of over-reporting how much was spent for tax purposes or they have built something cool.
Did you know?: The City of San Francisco had made it law that any construction under ten stories has to have photovoltaic panels connected to it. This would make them the first state in the United States to implement such a law, and it will be fully implemented in 2017.
Regardless, the new flagship store is a wonderfully minimalistic look at a company that continues to engineer some of the most sought after products: