Amazon Announces Another 180 MW of Solar

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Less than a month after announcing a new wind project, Amazon has unveiled five new solar farms with a combined capacity of 180 MW.

The facilities, named Amazon Solar Farm US East 2 through Amazon Solar Farm US East 6, will be developed across Virginia and become operational by the end of 2017.

Amazon Solar Farm US East, which is also in Virginia, is already operational with a capacity of 80 MW.

The five new developments, along with Amazon’s original solar facility, are collaborations with developers Virginia Solar LLC and Community Energy Solar. Dominion Resources will own and operate the facilities in the long-term.

Amazon said the six solar plants will generate 580,000 MWh of energy annually, making Amazon the largest backer of solar projects east of the Mississippi River.

Amazon’s current renewable energy portfolio includes the 150-MW Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge in Louisiana. The company expects the 208-MW Amazon Wind Farm US East in North Carolina to become operational by the end of this year.

The company is also developing the 100-MW Amazon Wind Farm US Central and the 189-MW Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2, both in Ohio.

Amazon’s long-term goal is to completely power its cloud services with renewable energy. The company expects to exceed its goal of 40 percent renewable energy by the end of this year and has set a new goal of 50 percent by the end of 2017.

“We continue to ramp our sustainability efforts in areas where availability of renewable energy sources is low or proposed projects are stalled, and where the energy contribution goes onto the same electric grid that powers AWS data centers,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Infrastructure, AWS.

“By enabling 10 utility scale renewable projects in the US to date, we are well positioned to meet our latest goal of 50 percent renewable energy powering the AWS global infrastructure by the end of 2017. That said, we are nowhere near done. We will continue to make progress toward our 100 percent goal and have many exciting initiatives planned.”

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