Amazon's five new solar projects to power operations in Australia, China, US

Amazon hopes to supply approximately 1.2 million MWh of additional renewable energy to the company's fulfilment network and its data centres.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Amazon has provided detail on five new renewable energy projects it hopes will supply approximately 1.2 million MWh of additional renewable energy to its fulfilment network and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres.

The five projects will span across Australia, China, and the United States.

The move forms part of the company's aim to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and net zero carbon by 2040.

Vice president of sustainability at Amazon Kara Hurst said its 2030 milestone could be reached as early as 2025, noting that while the goal will be challenging, the company has a "credible plan to get there".

In Australia, the company will undertake a 105 MW solar project in New South Wales, expected to have the capacity to generate 250,000 MWh of clean energy each year.

AWS Australia and New Zealand commercial sector managing director Adam Beavis touted this as enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes.

See also: Climate change: 9 ways you can make a difference (CNET)

This is Amazon's second project of its kind in Australia, after the first, revealed during AWS re:Invent in November and announced officially in February, saw the company make its first renewable energy pledge outside the US and Europe.

"Climate change is an important issue that we all face as community members and business owners and leaders," Beavis said. "We are proud to announce Amazon's second solar project in Australia as another step forward on our path to 100% renewable energy."

The first renewable energy initiative in Shandong, China, is a 100 MW solar project. The company expects that once complete, it will generate 128,000 MWh of clean energy annually.

Meanwhile, in the United States, two facilities in Ohio will be home to renewable energy projects, with a 200 MW solar project and an 80 MW solar project to be stood up.

Additionally, a new 130 MW solar project in Virginia will bring the total number of renewable energy projects in the state to 12.

"Once enabled, these three US-based projects have the capacity to power the equivalent of 69,000 average US homes each year," Amazon said. "To date, Amazon has announced 31 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 60 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres and sort centres around the globe."

See also: The Internet of Wild Things: Technology and the battle against biodiversity loss and climate change (TechRepublic cover story) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

Amazon said combined, the 31 projects boast over 2,900 MW of capacity and will deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of renewable energy annually.

"As a signatory to The Climate Pledge, we're committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reaching net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040," Hurst added.


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