Amazon Web Services will buy all the output from an upcoming wind farm in Donegal, Ireland as part of the company’s long-term commitment to achieving 100 percent renewable energy for its global infrastructure.
The 91.2MW wind farm will be built by Invis Energy and should start providing energy before 2022.
A trio of wind farms
AWS also announced two more wind farms, one in Tehachapi, California and a second in Bäckhammar, Sweden. In total, the three wind farms are expected to produce more than 229MW of power, and generate 670,000MWh a year.
Nat Sahlstrom, director of energy for AWS, said: “It’s our first project in Ireland, and the unique thing is that it’s the first unsubsidized project that has been done in the country,”
“The renewable energy projects that AWS enables are well positioned to serve AWS’ data centers. In addition, our data centers are focused on running in the most environmentally way possible, and our scales allows us to achieve higher resource utilization and energy efficiency than your typical on-premises data center. When we make the investments in these wind projects, and they produce lots of power, that’s a net positive for the grid.
“We will continue to rely on the Irish grid for energy; however, the new wind farm will help support Ireland’s renewable energy goals towards 2020 and 2030.”
In January 2018, ADSIL (AWS' Irish subsidiary) secured planning permission for the first building in a proposed €1 billion ($1.2bn) data center project in north Dublin. The company aims to build up to eight data centers on the site in Dublin as part of “Project G.”
Amazon also submitted a proposal last July to build another data center in Tallaght, on the outskirts of Dublin, next to an approved 88,000 square foot (8,175 sq m) facility on a parcel of land bought in 2015.
The company started building in Tallaght in late 2016 with a 22,300 sq m data center built on the site of a former Tesco distribution center. In 2016, it applied to build on the former Jacobs biscuit site, which it had bought in 2014. That application has been approved, paving the way for a 22,000 sq m data center there employing up to 50 people. Also in Tallaght, it converted the Shinko Microelectronics factory into a data center.
Ireland presents favorable conditions for data center operators, due in part to the country’s geographic position between mainland Europe and the United States, making it a landing point for many transatlantic submarine cables, combined with generous tax subsidies awarded both locally and nationally.