Amazon Invests in Wind
It seems that big firms in the United States are moving more and more towards renewable energy sources to power their businesses and help them cut down on emissions as Amazon has now joined other tech giants such as Google and Microsoft, as well as leaders in other areas of industry like IKEA, in investing in renewable energies.
With Amazon announcing its intentions, in November, that its cloud services division would move towards a long term commitment of using 100% renewable energy, this week it took a step towards making that goal a reality when they announced their first major contract that would help them achieve this aim.
Few details were disclosed but Amazon Web Services signed a power purchased agreement with Pattern Energy Group so that they would be buying energy produced by the supplier’s 150 megawatt wind farm that is being built in Benton County, Indiana. This farm should produce around 500 megawatt hours annually, which works at roughly at around 46,000 average American homes, and should be generating energy come January 2016.
Amazon Web Services operate a data centre in Benton County so the location of the wind farm is ideal for the web giant as it is so close by and as the business looks into expanding its operations in the region, there could be further need for these renewable energy resources. With around 20 data centres in North America alone, and with further expansion plans on the horizon, there is still a way to go for the company with the energy produced from one of these wind farms typically only being enough to support two or three data centres. The Eastern region will provide a much harder challenge for the company.
With only 2% of the company’s utilities currently coming from renewable energy sources, Amazon has come under some heavy criticism from environmental groups and so moves to change its image and improve its energy consumption will be welcomed by many. Although it still lags behind others such as IKEA who have taken steps to build their own windfarms in order to offset the entire company’s energy consumption.
This investment in the renewables sector will also be welcomed as Indiana looks to make the most of its geographical set up that allows it to be a big generator of wind energy in the United States. Should other organisations follow suit, renewable energy could be a valuable and wise investment for many.
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