People have always looked to Apple to know what the next big, new (and profitable) idea would be in the world of technology.

Today’s no different, as Apple is again leading the way to the future – now in solar power.

Apple laid out the details today of a significant new investment to power its data center in Nevada – one of several that store your iTunes, movies, photos and e-mails – with solar power.

Apple’s investment in solar energy shows that the company is making good on the promise it made last year to power its iCloud with 100 % renewable energy. The detailed disclosure that Apple gave today should give confidence to Apple’s millions of users that the company is powering its corner of the Internet with clean energy.

Apple’s new solar array shows some of the company’s hallmark innovation. Apple is using an advanced array that includes mirrors to concentrate sunlight up to seven times onto the photovoltaic cells. It’s also the first deal that takes advantage of a new “Green Rate tariff” in Nevada, which allows any customer of the utility there, NV Energy, to specifically buy renewable energy.

With Google, Facebook, and now Apple all announcing major new deals with utilities in recent months for new renewable energy to power their data center operations, the race to build an internet powered by renewable energy is clearly in full swing. Tech companies are showing they have the ability to use their influence and buying power with utilities to change their supply of electricity away from coal and toward renewable energy.

Microsoft and Amazon – both of which still power their Internet using the dirty electricity that causes global warming – ought to take notice. In the race for a clean Internet, Apple is leaving both companies in the dust.