Amazon Web Services adds 100MW wind farm to booming renewables portfolio
Amazon's cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has contracted US energy firm EDP Renewables to construct and operate a 100MW wind farm in Ohio.
Starting in May 2017, the new wind farm is expected to generate approximately 320,000MWh of energy a year – enough to power around 29,000 homes.
The energy generated will be delivered into the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS Cloud data centres.
EDP Renewables chief executive João Manso Neto said: “The fact that businesses such as AWS are playing such an active part in renewable energy projects is a very clear indicator that the future lies in additional generation of this type of energy”.
AWS, whose cloud computing clients include Netflix, Zynga and Pinterest, has a long-term commitment to source 100% renewable energy. As of April 2015, the company was at 25%, and reported it was on track to hit 40% by the end of 2016.
The business has also implemented a range of energy efficiency measures to reduce the initial consumption of its giant data centres and is piloting Telsa’s new energy storage batteries in order to secure a more consistent source of power from renewable sources.
However in May this year, AWS was criticised by Greenpeace in its Clicking Clean report for a lack of transparency, after failing to respond to a Greenpeace request for energy data.
“Amazon needs to provide more information about its data centre footprint and how it will move toward [its pledge of using] 100% renewable energy, as Apple, Google, and Facebook have done,” said Greenpeace USA senior IT analyst Gary Cook.
Amazon claimed that the Greenpeace’s data was wrong and that the report “missed the forest for the trees”.
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