Apple begins building green iCloud data center in Oregon

Is the increase in capacity to prepare for the iPad Mini?

The Oregonian reported this week that Apple has started construction in Prineville, Oregon on a new $68 million data center that will be entirely powered by local renewable energy sources.

After purchasing the 160 acre plot for $5.6 million just this February, Apple set up a temporary operation on-site.

Now, the tech company has begun building the first of two 338,000 square foot buildings to house several data halls which will reportedly be home to data for millions of iCloud users.

Even though the iCloud storage services has already broken 150 million users, the company clearly expects that number to grow in the foreseeable future, as evidenced by the ground-breaking on this new facility.

Growing the cloud

Apple is by no means alone in its bullish stance towards market growth.

Just this past month, Google opened its newest data center in Lenoir, North Carolina. Facebook also owns a relatively new data center just across the road from Apple's Prineville property.

With the recent, record-breaking launch of the iPhone 5, it's no wonder that Apple's a bit optimistic about the growth of its customer base, and hence its need for more storage capacity.

But with the big iPhone push out of the way (save holiday sales), it's more likely that the company is priming the engines for the iPad Mini event on October 23rd.

If the event and the product impress consumers enough, Apple may just need all that new data real estate.

To avoid any bad environmental press for the data center, Apple has already pledged to power the Prineville facilities with 100% renewable energy, including wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal sources.

Via CNET, The Oregonian