Amazon launches three major renewables projects

Amazon has announced three major renewable energy deals, including the largest corporate wind power purchase agreement in Europe, as it pushes towards a goal to source 100% renewable energy across its global operations by 2030.

Combined, the projects will total 265MW in capacity

Combined, the projects will total 265MW in capacity

Amazon has agreed a corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) to source renewable power from a 50MW Amazon Wind Farm on the Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland. Once complete, the farm is expected to generate 168,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean energy annually, enough to power 46,000 UK homes.

Two additional projects will be located in Warren County, North Carolina, and Prince George County, Virginia in the US. Combined, the projects will total 215MW in capacity and are expected to generate 500,997 MWh of energy annually once operational in 2021. All three windfarms will supply energy to the company’s Amazon Web Services data centres.

“In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, Amazon is committed to minimizing our carbon emissions and reaching 80% renewable energy use across the company by 2024. We’ve announced eight projects this year and have more projects on the horizon – and we’re committed to investing in renewable energy as a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally,” Amazon’s director of sustainability Kara Hurst said.

“With nearly 70 renewable energy projects around the globe – including 54 solar rooftops – we are making significant progress towards reaching Amazon’s company-wide commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

Net-zero ambition

Amazon pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2040, after its staff lobbied for the firm to take more bold action on climate change.

As a first step, the company has committed to order 100,000 fully electric delivery vehicles, the first 10,000 of which will be added to its global fleet by 2022. The remaining 90,000 vehicles will be phased in by 2030. All of the vehicles will be purchased from Michigan-based carmaker Rivian, which Amazon previously backed with a $440m investment.

Amazon has additionally placed a deadline on its previously announced ambition to source 100% renewable energy across its global operations, setting the deadline at 2030. This target is bolstered with an interim goal to source 80% of the firm’s energy mix from renewable sources by 2024. To date, Amazon has invested in 15 utility-scale wind and solar projects and has installed more than 50 onsite solar arrays at its fulfilment centres and sort centres.

Responding to calls from campaigners for Amazon to get involved in forest protection efforts in the wake of a record year of forest fires in Brazil, Amazon’s new climate strategy also includes a $100m investment in nature restoration projects. 

To date, Amazon has launched 18 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate a combined 1,600MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 4.6 million MWh of clean energy annually. 

Amazon has also invested in 98MW of onsite solar technology at fulfilment centres to deliver 130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.


The net-zero transition at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum

edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum returns in 2020, as some of the biggest companies, individuals and organisations championing sustainability gather at the Business Design Centre on 4 & 5 February to discuss the emergency response in transitioning to a net-zero economy.

The flagship, multi-award-winning event features keynotes speakers including Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Rebecca Marmot, Unilever CSO; Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO; Gilbert Ghostine, Firmenich CEO plus directors and senior managers from Interface, Vattenfall, John Lewis, Taylor Wimpey, Aviva, Pret A Manger, Pernod Ricard, LEGO Group, M&S, Diageo, Tesco, WSP, BASF, Mondelēz and more. For details and to register, visit: https://event.edie.net/forum/

Matt Mace



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