Amazon this week announced nine new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects.
The company detailed a number of projects in the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Amazon says the 2.5GW of renewable energy capacity it is buying in Europe makes it the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the region.
AWS to be carbon neutral ahead of time
The company says it now has 206 renewable energy projects globally, including 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 135 solar rooftops on facilities and stores worldwide, which will generate 8.5GW of electricity production capacity globally. The company says it is due to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2025; ahead of the original target of 2030.
“Amazon continues to scale up its investments in renewable energy as part of its effort to meet The Climate Pledge, our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “With these nine new wind and solar projects, we have announced 206 renewable wind and solar projects worldwide, and we are now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe and globally. Many parts of our business are already operating on renewable energy, and we expect to power all of Amazon with renewable energy by 2025—five years ahead of our original target of 2030.”
Amazon’s newest project in the UK is a 350MW wind farm off the coast of Scotland and is Amazon’s largest in the country, and claims it is the largest corporate renewable energy deal in the UK to date.
“Amazon is a leader in renewable energy buying and is continuously changing the market through continuous innovation and investments in renewable energy. Long-term investments like these are crucial to companies moving closer to climate neutrality,” said Hannah Hunt, Impact Director, RE-Source, a corporate renewable energy sourcing platform in Europe.
“Leading companies like Amazon know the value that solar can bring to their businesses and the planet,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “We’re thrilled to see that Amazon is following through on its climate commitments and is investing in renewable energy assets across the world. Wall Street, customers, and international businesses are all watching what American companies are doing about climate change, and this type of leadership can have a major impact on the climate crisis.”
The company's other investments include:
–The company's first storage project; a 100MW solar plant in California’s Imperial Valley includes 70MW of energy storage.
– An 80MW solar project in the County of Newell in Alberta, Canada, the company’s first in the country.
– An 118MW wind project located in Murray County, Oklahoma, in addition to solar projects in Ohio’s Allen, Auglaize, and Licking counties totaling more than 400MW
– New solar projects in Extremadura and Andalucia, Spain, adding more than 170 MW to the grid.
– A 258MW onshore wind project located in Northern Sweden.
Hyperscalers all boasting green credentials
This week Google also announced it had matched 100 percent of its global electricity use with purchases of renewable energy for the fourth year in 2020. The company highlighted its first offshore wind project in the North Sea contributing energy to the grid where it operates its Belgium data center, and purchasing power from a new solar farm in the Antofagasta region of Chile to power operations in South America.
“We’ve signed agreements to buy power from more than 50 renewable energy projects, with a combined capacity of 5.5 gigawatts,” said Urs Hölzle SVP, Cloud Infrastructure at Google.
Facebook last week announced that all its global operations are 100 percent carbon neutral. The social network has contracts in place for more than 6GW of wind and solar energy across 18 states and five countries, with all 63 projects located on the same electrical grids as the data centers they support.
“We've reached net-zero emissions for our operations and we're one of the largest buyers of renewable energy in the world - resulting in $8 billion invested in 63 wind and solar projects around the world, creating tens of thousands of jobs,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on his site. “Thanks to our team and partners who helped reach this goal!”