Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Four more renewable projects to power AWS

Steve Rogerson
March 24, 2020

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be using renewable energy from four more projects in Australia, Spain, Sweden and the USA as part of Amazon’s commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 on a path to net zero carbon by 2040.
Its first renewable energy project in Australia is a 60MW solar project anticipated to come online in 2021 in northern New South Wales. Once complete, the project is expected to generate 142,000MWh of clean energy annually, which is equivalent to the annual electricity of almost 23,000 average Australian households.
The latest renewable energy projects in Europe include 122MW from an onshore wind project in Västernorrland, Sweden, expected to come online 2022, and a 50MW solar farm in Zaragoza, Spain, expected to begin operations in 2021. Once enabled, these projects have the capacity to power the equivalent of 158,000 average European homes each year.
Its latest solar project in the USA will be in Halifax County, Virginia. The 65MW solar project is expected to generate over 150,000MWh of renewable energy annually and it will be Amazon’s 11th renewable energy project in Virginia.
“I applaud Amazon for their investment in renewable energy projects in the commonwealth of Virginia,” said Virginia congressman Denver Riggleman. “This solar energy project will generate 65MW of renewable energy, which will create clean jobs for the region.”
Separately, Amazon also recently announced a solar project in Pittsylvania County that will power Amazon’s new HQ2 headquarters along with other Amazon-owned operations across the commonwealth, including whole foods markets and fulfilment centres.
Once complete, the four renewable energy wind and solar projects will provide almost 300MW and approximately 840,000MWh of additional renewable capacity to the grids that supply energy to the company’s AWS data centres, which power Amazon and millions of AWS customers globally.
To date, Amazon has launched 26 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 2200MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 6.2 million MWh of clean energy annually – enough to power 560,000 US homes. Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres and sort centres around the globe that generate 122MW of renewable capacity and deliver 193,000MWh of clean energy annually.
“We’re on a mission to meet the Paris Agreement ten years early as part of the Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero carbon across our operations by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, vice president of sustainability at Amazon. “These new renewable energy projects are part of our roadmap to 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, investing in renewable energy is a critical step towards addressing our carbon footprint globally.”
To track progress towards its goals, Amazon launched a web site to report on its sustainability commitments, initiatives and performance. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making towards reaching the Climate Pledge.
The goals, commitments, investments and programmes build on Amazon’s long-term commitment to sustainability through existing programmes, including Shipment Zero, Amazon’s vision to make all shipments net zero carbon, with 50% net zero carbon by 2030; sustainable packaging initiatives such as frustration-free packaging and ship in own container, which have reduced packaging waste by a quarter since 2015; renewable energy programmes; investments in the circular economy with the closed loop fund; and numerous other initiatives happening every day and led by teams across Amazon.