Amazon Web Services unveils wind farm plans to power future data centers

Expected to be operational by December 2016, the 208-megawatt wind farm is projected to be able to power more than 61,000 U.S. homes in a year.

Amazon Web Services unveiled plans on Monday for a new wind farm in North Carolina with the intent of powering both current and future data centers.

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The cloud giant has tapped Iberdrola Renewables, the U.S. renewable energy division of Spanish electrical utility conglomerate Iberdrola, to build and manage the wind farm spanning two North Carolina counties.

Expected to be operational by December 2016, the 208-megawatt wind farm is projected to be able to power more than 61,000 U.S. homes in a year.

Dubbed the Amazon Wind Farm US East, the facility will be the first utility-scale wind farm in the state.

AWS has previously announced plans for a wind farm in Indiana amid other renewable energy initiatives, including a solar farm in Virginia and a pilot program involving Tesla's energy storage batteries.

Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, highlighted in the announcement that the addition of this wind farm will help keep AWS on track to surpass its goal of relying on 40 percent renewable benergy worldwide by the end of 2016.

"We're far from being done,"Hunter admitted in prepared remarks. "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."

Wind power is starting to pick up in the cloud and data center business with a number of high profile designs and construction projects in the pipeline.

Last week, Facebook unveiled plans for its fourth domestic data center (and fifth worldwide) in Texas, which will be powered by a new wind energy site set to constructed 90 miles away from the Fort Worth data center in partnership with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group.

The Fort Worth data center will also be relying on outdoor air instead of air conditioners for cooling.