"This multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we've ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S." Apple said in a statement on the project.
The announcement comes four months after an earlier Apple plan for the 1.3 million-square-foot facility it bought in 2013 failed. Apple had a deal with Merrimack, New Hampshire-based GT Advanced Technologies to use the plant to make sapphire glass for its products, but the company declared bankruptcy in October after production issues developed.
GT openly accused Apple of using a "classic bait-and-switch strategy."
Read MoreGT Advanced parting ways with Apple, will close Arizona facility
For its part, the Arizona government was happy to announce the major investment.
"This is a great day for Arizona, and we have moved rapidly to make this happen and take advantage of Apple's interest in our state," Ducey said in a release. "Apple is by far one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world. Its decision to bring this new facility to Mesa is a huge win for Arizona and a high testament to our business-friendly climate and talented workforce."
"This expansion will bring a significant economic investment, and propel Arizona's position as one of the best states in the nation in which to do business," he added.
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Apple's renewable energy initiatives set a high bar for its competitors, according to a statement from Greenpeace following the Apple announcement.
"Other major data center operators, especially market leader Amazon Web Services, should begin to match the speed and scale of Apple's progress by adopting renewable energy at a pace that matches their growth," Greenpeace Senior IT Sector Analyst Gary Cook said in the news release.
—CNBC's Josh Lipton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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