Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), on Oct. 31 announced plans for the Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2, a 189-MW wind project in Hardin County, Ohio, that will generate 530,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually starting in December 2017.
Amazon engaged with EverPower, a leader in utility-grade wind projects, to construct, own, and operate the new wind farm. This is AWS’s fifth renewable energy project in the United States (and its second wind farm in Ohio) that will deliver energy onto the electric grid powering AWS data centers located in the AWS US East (Ohio) and AWS US East (N. Virginia) Regions. When this newest wind farm is completed, AWS’s five renewable energy projects will generate a grand total of 2.2 million MWh of energy annually.
In November 2014, AWS shared its long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint. Ambitious sustainability initiatives over the last 18-24 months have put AWS on track to exceed its 2016 goal of 40% renewable energy use and enabled AWS to set a new goal to be powered by 50% renewable energy by the end of 2017.
In addition to investing in wind and solar projects, AWS continues to innovate in its facilities and equipment to increase energy efficiency, as well as to advocate for federal and state policies aimed at creating a favorable renewable energy environment. For example, in Ohio, Amazon said it supports proposed changes to the state’s current wind setbacks law to encourage more investment in new renewable wind power projects.
This second Ohio wind project joins Amazon Wind Farm US Central (100 MW) in Paulding County, which AWS announced in November 2015 and will start producing wind energy in May 2017. Other AWS renewable energy projects in the US include:
- Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge (100 MW) in Indiana; and
- Amazon Solar Farm US East (80 MW) in Virginia.
Both of these facilities are currently in production. Amazon Wind Farm US East (280 MW) in North Carolina is under construction and expected to start generating electricity by December 2016.
“We remain committed to achieving our long-term goal of powering the AWS Cloud with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Infrastructure, AWS. “There are lots of things that go into making this a reality, including governments implementing policies that stimulate cost-effective renewable energy production, businesses that buy that energy, economical renewable projects from our development partners and utilities, as well as technological and operational innovation that drives greater efficiencies in our global infrastructure.”
“Leading companies like AWS are enabling the construction of large, utility-scale renewable power projects that will ultimately help to off-set the energy supplied by fossil fuels and create a cleaner, healthier environment for our communities,” said Jim Spencer, CEO of EverPower. EverPower has seven active projects in four states producing a total 752 MW of energy, with a near-term pipeline of an additional 2,000 MW.
Beyond the sustainability initiatives focused on powering the AWS global infrastructure, Amazon is investing in several other clean energy activities across the company. Examples of other projects include Amazon Wind Farm Texas – a 253-MW wind farm in Scurry County, Texas — green rooftops, and the District Energy Project that uses recycled energy for heating Amazon offices in Seattle.
EverPower Wind Holdings, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a developer, owner and operator of utility-grade wind projects. Since its founding in 2002, EverPower has used a partnership approach with landowners and communities to establish itself as premier developer, owner, and operator of wind projects in the U.S. EverPower currently has seven operational wind facilities with nameplate capacity of approximately 752 MW. EverPower has been owned by Terra Firma Capital Partners, a European private equity firm, since 2009.