Amazon Now Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy

Amazon has beefed up its green credentials, after it announced nine new wind and solar energy projects in the United States, Canada, the UK, Spain and Sweden.

These utility-scale projects means that Amazon is now Europe’s, and indeed the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy.

Amazon it should be remembered pledged to be carbon neutral and meet the goals of the Paris accord by 2040. CEO Jeff Bezos has also said that Amazon will purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from a start-up that his firm has invested in.

Image credit: Amazon

Green credentials

Amazon of course has a sizeable carbon footprint due to its delivery service that delivers over 10 billion items a year, and its power hungry AWS data centers.

In years gone past, the firm clashed with environmental campaign group Greenpeace, which  criticised the e-commerce giant numerous times over its use of coal powered sources.

But since that time Amazon has been ramping up its renewable energy projects, and this week the e-commerce giant announced it has 206 renewable energy projects globally, including 71 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 135 solar rooftops on facilities and stores worldwide.

These projects will generate 8.5 GW of electricity production capacity globally.

Indeed, it has more than 2.5 GW of capacity in Europe – enough to power more than two million European homes a year.

In the UK, Amazon’s newest energy project is a 350 MW wind farm off the coast of Scotland and is Amazon’s largest in the country.

All this means Amazon is on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of the original target of 2030, which will be a remarkable achievement for the world’s largest cloud services provider.

“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 CEO Jeff Bezos.

“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,” said Bezos. “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.”

New projects

Amazon’s new wind and solar projects announced this week is spread across Europe and north America.

In California’s Imperial Valley, there is the firm’s first solar project paired with energy storage, that generates 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy, which is enough to power over 28,000 homes for a year and includes 70 MW of energy storage.

The second new project is its first renewable project in Canada, which is an 80 MW solar project in the County of Newell in Alberta. Once complete, it will produce over 195,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy to the grid, or enough energy to power more than 18,000 Canadian homes for a year.

The third project is Amazon’s largest corporate renewable energy project in the UK, which is a 350 MW wind farm off the coast of Scotland. It is also the largest corporate renewable energy deal announced by any company in the UK to date.

Another new project in the US is Amazon’s first renewable energy project in Oklahoma, which is a 118 MW wind project located in Murray County. Amazon is also building new solar projects in Ohio’s Allen, Auglaize, and Licking counties, which altogether these Ohio projects will account for more than 400 MW of new energy procurement in the state.

Amazon is also making additional investments in Spain and Sweden. In Spain, Amazon’s newest solar projects are located in Extremadura and Andalucia, and together add more than 170 MW to the grid.

Amazon’s newest project in Sweden is a 258 MW onshore wind project located in Northern Sweden.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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