Amazon Web Services Announces Its Largest Renewable Energy Project To Date
Amazon Wind Farm US East is North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind farm.
Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has announced that it has contracted with Iberdrola Renewables, LLC to construct and operate a 208 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, North Carolina, called the Amazon Wind Farm US East. This new wind farm is expected to start generating approximately 670,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually starting December 2016, or enough to power more than 61,000 US homes in a year. When completed, it will be the first utility-scale wind farm in the state of North Carolina, with the energy generated delivered into the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS Cloud data centers.
In November 2014, AWS shared its long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint. In April 2015, AWS announced that approximately 25% of the power consumed by its global infrastructure was from renewable energy sources with a goal of increasing that percentage to at least 40% by the end of 2016. As part of its renewable energy push, AWS is continuously working on ways to increase the energy efficiency of its facilities and equipment. Additionally, the company continues to launch projects that increase the availability of renewable energy resources on the electrical grids that supply power to current and future AWS Cloud data centers in Virginia and Ohio.
Specifically, in January 2015, Amazon announced a renewable project with the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) in Benton County, Indiana, which is expected to generate 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually. In April 2015, Amazon announced a pilot of Tesla’s energy storage batteries that are designed to help bridge the gap between intermittent production, from sources like wind, and the datacenter’s constant power demand. Also in April 2015, AWS joined the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) to work with state and federal policymakers and other stakeholders to enable more renewable energy opportunities for cloud providers. In June 2015, the company announced Amazon Solar Farm US East in Virginia, which is expected to generate 170,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar power annually. Together with Amazon Wind Farm US East announced today, Amazon’s renewable projects will be responsible for delivering more than 1.3 million MWh of additional renewable energy into electric grids across the central and eastern US, or roughly the equivalent amount of energy required to power 122,000 US homes.
“This agreement, and those previously in place, puts AWS on track to surpass our goal of 40 percent renewable energy globally by the end of 2016,” said Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at Amazon Web Services. “We’re far from being done. We’ll continue pursuing projects that deliver clean energy to the various energy grids that serve AWS data centers, we’ll continue working with our power providers to increase their renewable energy quotient, and we’ll continue to strongly encourage our partners in government to extend the tax incentives that make it more viable for renewable projects to get off the ground.”
“As a leading Internet platform and cloud services provider, Amazon continues to invest in renewable energy by supporting this wind farm in our great state,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “This kind of collaboration between Amazon and Iberdrola Renewables promotes North Carolina’s continued economic growth and highlights the importance of supporting the ongoing expansion of the technology sector in our state.”
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA and is the US renewable energy division of parent company Iberdrola, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has more than $10 billion of operating assets totaling more than 6,000 MW of owned and controlled wind and solar generation capacity.
“Iberdrola is an international leader in developing renewable energy and transmission assets with a long history in wind energy,” said Frank Burkhartsmeyer, Iberdrola Renewables’ US CEO. “We are excited to be working with Amazon Web Services and we commend the company for its commitment to sustainability. We look forward to collaborating with AWS as we develop and construct North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind farm.”
In 2012, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,837 kWh, an average of 903 kilowatthours (kWh) per month. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3