A giant solar array? An huge fuel cell facility? A second 500,000 sq. ft. data center?
I’m not sure I buy the main reason Jefferies’ Peter Misek gave today for raising his Apple (AAPL) price target to $800 from $699: His “increased confidence” Apple is going to release the much-rumored iTV in the fourth quarter of 2012.
My own confidence that Apple is going to get into the television manufacturing business is roughly equivalent to my confidence that it’s preparing to market a 7.85-inch iPad. Which is to say, I haven’t got a clue.
But I think Misek is definitely on to something when he talks about the big changes underway at the site of Apple’s data center in Maiden, N.C.
Why am I a believer? For one thing, I’ve seen the pictures, both the on-the-ground photograph printed Tuesday in the
, and the “satellite” (they’re actually shot from airplanes) images on Google Maps. (Click here to monitor the progress.)
Moreover, unlike its plans for future products — about which it stays famously mum — Apple actually talks about this stuff. See, for example, the Apple and the Environment report posted on its website in February:
This fuel cell facility is a big deal. According to the Observer, its 24 modules will generate 4.8 megawatts at an enormously expensive estimated cost of $6.7 million per megawatt.
“That’s a huge vote of confidence in fuel cells,” James Warner, policy director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association in Washington, told the Observer.
Bottom line: Whatever Apple is building in Maiden, it’s big and it’s green. Whether its purpose in life is to pipe content to millions of Apple-branded TV sets, however, is an open question.