Amazon works with Iberdrola on 208-MW wind farm in North Carolina

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an company (NASDAQ: AMZN), has contracted with Iberdrola Renewables LLC to construct and operate a 208-MW wind farm in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, North Carolina.

Called the Amazon Wind Farm US East, this project is expected to start generating approximately 670,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually starting December 2016. AWS said July 13 that 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 to at least 40% by the end of 2016. The company said it 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.

  • 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 data center’s constant power demand.
  • 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.

“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 Gov. 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 is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA and is the U.S. renewable energy division of parent company Iberdrola S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world.

Said Frank Burkhartsmeyer, Iberdrola Renewables’ U.S. 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.”

Launched in 2006, Amazon Web Services offers a robust, fully featured technology infrastructure platform in the cloud comprised of a broad set of compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services from data center locations in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.