Apple plans Arizona factory that will run on renewable energy

The plant will employ at least 700 people making components for Apple products

Apple plans to build a components plant in Mesa, Arizona, that will run entirely on renewable energy.

It will be Apple's latest move to build up its manufacturing in the U.S. Most of the company's products are manufactured overseas, and Apple has been under pressure to make more investments at home.

The project will create more than 2,000 jobs, Apple said in a brief statement to IDG News Service on Monday. It will work with Salt River Project, an electric utility in central Arizona, to create "green energy sources" to power the facility, Apple said.

The project will create 700 jobs in the first year, in addition to about 1,300 construction and other jobs in Arizona, according to Governor Jan Brewer. "Their investment in renewable energy will also be greening our power grid, and creating significant new solar and geothermal power sources for the state," Brewer said in a statement.

GT Advanced Technologies, a crystal materials manufacturer, said it will own and operate furnaces and related equipment at the plant, where it will employ more than 700 people. GT said it had entered into a multi-year agreement to supply Apple with sapphire material.

Apple has said it would invest $100 million this year in Macintosh production in the U.S., and that it would make one of its Mac lines exclusively in the U.S. In May, the company said it would make some Mac parts in Texas.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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