Amazon commits to 208MW wind farm in largest renewables venture yet
Amazon is to construct a 208MW wind farm which will become the first utility-scale wind farm in the US state of North Carolina.
The new wind farm for Amazon Web Services will be constructed with energy company Iberdrola Renewables and will generate around 670,000 MWh of wind energy per year, starting in December 2016.
The digital giant will add the new wind farm – its largest yet – to an expanding renewable energy portfolio.
Amazon Web Services – the retail giant’s cloud services subsidiary – has committed to achieving 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure footprint.
The firm announced earlier this year that 25% of its power consumption for its global infrastructure was already from renewable sources, and the company aims to increase this percentage to 40% by the end of 2016.
The new North Carolina project follows Amazon’s announcement of its Amazon Wind Farm in Indiana, which is expected to generate around 500,000MWh of wind power per year.
The firm is also piloting Telsa’s new energy storage batteries which will help provide a more consistent source of power to the company’s data centres.
This, combined with a solar wind farm in Virginia, means Amazon expects to produce more than 1.3MWh of renewable energy into electrical grids across the USA, enough to power around 122,000 US homes, once the projects are operational.
Amazon Web Services vice president for infrastructure Jerry Hunter said: “This agreement, and those previously in place, puts Amazon Web Services on track to surpass our goal of 40% renewable energy globally by the end of 2016.
“We’re far from being done. We’ll continue pursuing projects that deliver clean energy to the various energy grids that serve Amazon Web Services data centres, we’ll continue working with our power providers to increase their renewable energy quotient, and we’ll continue to strongly encourage our partners in government to extend the tax incentives that make it more viable for renewable projects to get off the ground.”
Other high-profile web giants have announced sustainability initiatives in recent years, with Silicon Valley tech firms Facebook and Apple making headlines.
Apple has announced major renewable energy plans for its headquarters with a 280MW solar plant to meet the site’s energy needs.
Facebook has also moved its sustainability profile forward with plans for a data centre powered 100% by renewable energy, utilising a 200MW wind farm.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg said the project would be one of the most energy efficient data centres in the world.
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