Apple to build solar-powered factory in Arizona

Credit: Andy Wong/AP

The Southwest sure has been getting love lately. First, the critically-acclaimed Breaking Badwas set in New Mexico. Then, there was talk of an underground society in Arizona (which, yes, I constitute as “getting love”). And now, Apple is going to build a components factory in Arizona that runs completely on renewable energy. The factory will even be staffed with humans, instead of robots. Not bad.

The components plant, which will reportedly create more than 2,000 jobs (700 in the first year alongside 1,300 construction jobs), is planned to be in Mesa, Arizona.

Arizona companies will work with Apple in the creation and implementation of “green energy sources,” which will be used to power the factory, according to Apple. This’ll have bigger implications, as it’ll also lay the infrastructure for Mesa to completely green its power grid.

Apple's factory will run on solar power and make the sapphire crystals used in some devices, such as the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s.

This all comes at the heel of Apple announcing it will invest $100 million in U.S. production this year, which felt like a PR ploy at the time (especially considering Apple’s worth of well more than $100 billion).

We shouldn’t expect Apple to begin building all its factories within the U.S. just yet though. After all, it remains cheaper to build overseas. Even the conditions at many of China’s factories, the ones that led to the musical The Agony and Ecstacy of Steve Jobs, might not play into the decision as much anymore. After all, Foxconn has its army of Foxbot robots building iPhones.

Given the fact that there will be 20,000 Foxbots building Apple product by the year’s end, it’s slightly surprising that Apple would decide to create a factory that’ll create 2,000 jobs. But we’ll take it. A victory for us in the robot versus human war.

And it could lead to greener energy throughout the country? Sounds like a win-win if I’ve ever heard one.

Via U.S. News and World Report

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