Apple's Catawba Co. data center to house largest private solar array in US

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MAIDEN, N.C. - Apple hopes the solar farms and fuel cell installation being built near its plant in Maiden will provide 60 percent of the power needed to run its massive data storage center.

Zelda Vosburgh's back yard runs right up to the solar farm. She said she cannot wait for the renewable energy project to be completed. She said she has endured a lot during the construction of the environmentally friendly project.

"When we get a storm or the wind blows bad this whole place turns into nothing but dust in the air. You can see it flying everywhere," Vosburgh said.

Trevor Wilson said it's not the dust but the noise he's noticed the most near his parent's home in Maiden. On Monday, crews were working to install the rows of supports needed for the solar panels.

"It is like beating of drums, but metal. Like banging pots together over and over, " Wilson said.

But the project has been good for Randy Rush's appliance business. Apple said the renewable energy produced here could power not just refrigerators but more than 10,000 homes.

"I've got a couple people who stop a week and ask what they're doing and most of the time of they stop they buy something, so it's been good, " Rush said.

Pastor William Painter's church sits right next to the data center and commends Apple for trying to help the environment.

"It's great that they're using the solar power. We need more of that around. Cleaner power sources," Painter said.