Multinational technology company, Amazon, has announced 26 new global utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totalling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity – the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy.
One of the 26 global solar energy projects is the Hawkesdale Wind Farm in Victoria, Amazon’s third renewable energy investment in Australia following the Gunnedah Solar Farm in New South Wales and the Suntop Solar Farm in New South Wales.
The 96.6 megawatt (MW) Hawkesdale Wind Farm, along with Amazon’s other worldwide renewable investments, will supply renewable energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfilment centres, and Amazon Web Services data centres that support millions of customers globally.
The Hawkesdale Wind Farm is forecast to generate 325,000 MWh of renewable energy annually for the company, which is the equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of almost 52,000 Australian households.
The other new wind and solar projects announced today are located in France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.
Globally, Amazon now has a total of 127 renewable energy projects, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects; and 68 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres, and sort centres.
Amazon’s total renewable energy investments to date will now supply 6.5 GW of electricity production capacity – enough to power 1.7 million U.S. homes for one year.
These projects will also help advance Amazon’s goal to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. The company is currently on track to meet the goal five years early (by 2025), and to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040.
Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, said that Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power its businesses with renewable energy.
“With a total of 127 solar and wind projects, Amazon is now the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever. We are on a path to running 100 per cent of our business on renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of our original target of 2030,” he said.
“This is just one of the many steps we’re taking that will help us meet our Climate Pledge. I couldn’t be more proud of all the teams across Amazon that continue to work hard, smart, and fast to get these projects up and running.”
Adam Beavis, Managing Director, Commercial Sector for Amazon Web Services in Australia and New Zealand, said that Amazon has become the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and its latest wind project in Victoria demonstrates the company’s commitment to investing in Australian renewable energy projects to run the business in the most environmentally friendly way.
“Our push to use more renewable energy is one step on our path to net-zero carbon by 2040 as part of Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge. To achieve these goals, we focus on four complementary areas: increasing energy efficiency in our facilities and equipment, continuous innovation in our data centres, advocacy at the global, federal, and state levels to create a favourable environment for renewable energy, and working with various power providers around the world to increase the availability of renewable energy.”
Gilles Walgenwitz, General Manager Energy Markets at consultancy Energetics, added that Amazon’s investment demonstrates its continued commitment to Australia’s transition to clean energy.
“Amazon’s efforts to invest in this area set the pace for the industry, and we look forward to working together to help Amazon achieve its sustainability goals, as its Australian business continues to grow,” Walgenwitz said.