Apple’s capital expenditures in its 2012 fiscal year are projected to increase by US$3.4 billion, as the company gears up for major projects like its new solar farm in North Carolina, and a new corporate campus in Cupertino, California, UBS analyst Maynard Um told clinets in a note — as reported by “AppleInsider” (

Last week it was reported by “The Charlotte Observer” ( that Apple has quietly begun work on a solar farm that apparently could help power its sprawling data center in southern Catawba County, North Carolina. Permits issued by Catawba County show that the company has been approved to reshape the slope of some of the 171 acres of vacant land it owns on Startown Road, opposite the data center, in preparation of building a solar farm, the article adds.

The engineering plans show how the company will keep soil that it moves around the site from washing into creeks and other areas, notes “The Observer.” The permit has no detail about the solar farm itself, including its size. A Charlotte firm is listed on the erosion control permit as the contractor.

Last year it was announced that Apple was building a 500,000 square foot data center in Catawba County on the outskirts of Maiden. Maiden and Catawba County agreed to US$7.3 million in incentives for Apple in order for them to build the center there.

In June then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented his idea for a new Apple campus at the Cupertino (California) City Council. Located on a former HP property, Apple wants to build a spaceship-looking headquarters that will hold 12,000 employees.

In its annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple noted it expects to increase its capital expenditures 73% year-over-year in fiscal 2012. That will bring its projected expenses to $8 billion, significantly higher than the $1.2 billion the company projected back in 2009. Um believes that a significant chunk of Apple’s spending increase will be related to new construction projects the company is planning such as the solar farm and “spaceship” headquarters.

— Dennis Sellers