03/11/2015 11:57 am ET Updated Apr 28, 2015

Apple Hones Power of the Sun for New Campus, Sheds Light on Sustainability for Others

Apple is planning to finish construction on "the greenest building on the planet" according to CEO Tim Cook, by the end of next year.

The plans for the new Cupertino campus (a/k/a Campus2) have been compared most often to a spaceship.

However, the most futuristic element of Apple's new "spaceship campus" is not the circular that looks at home in a Star Wars storyboard. Apple will harness the power of the sun to power not only its 176-acre new campus but also its 53 retail stores and its datacenter in the state.

Earlier this month, Cook announced that the tech giant is partnering with solar panel firm First Solar to build an expansive solar farm to power all of its buildings in California.

"The time for talk has passed and the time for action is now," said Cook, announcing the 25-year contract between Apple and First Solar. The deal marks the largest clean energy power deal to a U.S. company in history.

First Solar will begin construction on the 2,900-acre farm later this year in Monterey, a coastal town about 70 miles south of Cupertino (calculated using Google Maps). Apple will receive 130 megawatts at a fixed price, resulting in "significant savings", according to Cook.

Apple has a long history of efforts to save energy and increase sustainability and has served as a role model for other large companies, both at home and abroad. The company signed the CERES Climate Declaration to recognize the business challenges and opportunities of climate change.

The company has made a determined effort to reduce its carbon footprint and become an industry leader and key player in the struggle for the future of the planet. As new reports of the carnage of climate change emerge every day, Apple hopes that other companies will heed its example and follow suit. Apple has risen to the pinnacle of the tech world and American culture on defining what's in vogue. The stakes for their success could not be higher. Good thing they're building a spaceship.