Amazon has unveiled its three latest renewable energy projects in the US and UK, bolstering its commitment to The Climate Pledge.
The move paves the way for the company to reach 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 percent renewable energy target by 2030, before meeting the ultimate goal of achieving net zero carbon by 2040.
The tech firm has almost 70 renewable energy projects across the globe, with the capacity to generate more than 1,600 MW and deliver more than 4.6million MWh of energy a year.
The new trio of renewable energy, wind and solar projects will provide 265 MW of additional renewable capacity once they begin producing energy in 2021. They will supply energy to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, which power Amazon and millions of AWS customers worldwide.
The company’s newest renewable energy project in Europe will be the largest corporate wind power purchase agreement (PPA) in the UK.
Once complete, the new Amazon Wind Farm, situated on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland, will provide 50 megawatts (MW) of new renewable capacity with expected generation of 168,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy annually - enough to power 46,000 UK homes.
The newest renewable energy solar projects in the US will be in Warren County, North Carolina, and Prince George County, Virginia.
These offer a combined total 215 MW and are expected to generate 500,997 MWh of energy annually. This will be Amazon’s second renewable energy project in the state of North Carolina and eighth renewable energy project in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
To date, the company has launched 18 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 1,600 MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 4.6 million MWh of clean energy annually – enough to power 368,000 U.S. homes.
Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers worldwide that generate 98 MW of renewable capacity, providing130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.
Kara Hurst, director of sustainability at Amazon, said: “In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, Amazon is committed to minimizing our carbon emissions and reaching 80 percent renewable energy use across the company by 2024.
“We’ve announced eight projects this year and have more projects on the horizon – and we’re committed to investing in renewable energy as a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally.
“With nearly 70 renewable energy projects around the globe – including 54 solar rooftops – we are making significant progress towards reaching Amazon’s company-wide commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.”
Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Scotland, said: “Agreements like this Power Purchase Agreement speak volumes of the levels of confidence from major employers and business across all sectors in Scotland’s renewable energy infrastructure.
“In 2018 Scotland was able to achieve a record level of renewable energy generation, with revised data showing that 76.3 percent of Scotland’s electricity demand was met from renewable sources, and onshore wind energy alone was capable of meeting more than 50 percent of Scotland’s gross electricity demand.
“These fantastic figures illustrate the importance of onshore wind in our current energy mix, as a highly cost-effective source of generation, but also the leading role it will play in meeting our future energy needs, too.”
Roy Cooper, North Carolina governor, said: “Not only is this the right thing to do for our planet, it’s the right thing to do for our economy. More clean energy jobs mean better jobs for North Carolina families.”
Ralph Northam, Virginia governor, said: “It’s wonderful to see the announcement of these new projects, helping bring more clean energy to the Commonwealth of Virginia where Amazon is already recognized as a leader in bringing renewable energy projects online.
“These solar farms help reaffirm the Commonwealth's role as a leading producer of clean energy in the U.S., helping take the nation forward in responding to climate change.”
Congressman Donald McEachin added: “I applaud Amazon’s continued leadership in the Commonwealth and commitment to sustainability.
“Renewable energy projects like the Fort Powhatan solar farm will make our communities safer and healthier while creating the advanced energy jobs that are essential to helping us address climate change.”
In addition, Amazon has launched a new transparency website to report on its sustainability commitments, initiatives, and performance. It includes information on the firm’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making towards reaching The Climate Pledge.