Amazon completes lucrative solar roof installation

Online retailer Amazon has had a 964 kWp rooftop solar system installed at a new logistics centre in central Italy, as the company continues its transition to source 100% renewable electricity.

The e-commerce giant enlisted solar developers Enerray to install the 964kWp system at the Passo Corese logistics centre. The 3,200 solar panels of the centre’s roof will produce enough energy to power operations at the site.

“The logistics centre located in Rieti province is the result of massive investments in innovation and technology made by this global e-commerce giant, and we are so proud to be seen as the Italian company up to this challenging task,” Seci Energia’s – Enerray’s parent company – chief exectuvie Michele Scandellari said.

Amazon established a goal to transition to 100% renewable energy back in 2014. By early 2017, the company had exceeded an incremental goal of sourcing 40% of its demand from renewable energy. A 50% target was set for the end of 2017, but the company is yet to provide updates on whether this has been reached. Currently, there is no timeframe for the 100% target.

To date, Amazon has instigated renewable energy construction projects totalling 3.6m MW. The new Italy-based array is expected to deliver a return on investment in five and a half years, while delivering annual return rates of 11.4% over a 20-year timeframe – a discounted net value of more than €8.3m.

Amazon tasked Enerray, which has reduced emissions by more than 350 tonnes annually through its various renewables project, with installing the system on the 160,000-square-metre facility.

Last year, Amazon Web Services pledged to deploy large-scale solar systems across 50 fulfilment and sortation centres globally by 2020, with annual deployments set to generate 41MW of renewable energy for the company.

Recent renewables projects from Amazon includes the development of a 150MW wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, a 208MW wind farm in North Carolina, which was the first utility-scale wind farm in the state, and the firm’s largest wind farm in Texas, which looks set to generate 1,000,000 megawatt hours when it goes live.

Tesla’s solar roof

In related news, Reuters has reported that Tesla has finally begun production and manufacturing of its solar roof tiles at its Buffalo, New York, facility. The glass tiles were unveiled in Autumn 2016, and are designed to blend with regular shingle.

Rollout was scheduled for 2017, but customers who paid a $1,000 deposit have been greeted with delays. However, Reuters is claiming the rollout will commence in the coming months.  Buyers can customise what percentage of the roof are solar tiles by using an online tool; the max is 70%. 

Matt Mace

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