Earlier this week, Amazon announced its plans to build a 208 megawatt wind farm in North Carolina.
This wind farm, called Amazon Wind Farm US East, is estimated to start generating 670,000 megawatt hours of wind energy a year beginning in December 2016. That is enough energy to power 61,000 US homes for a year! Amazon will use this energy to power all of its current data centers in the US East region.
It will be the first utility scale wind farm in North Carolina, sending power to an electrical grid that supplies Amazon Cloud data centers in the region. This grid will also receive power from an 80 megawatt solar farm in Virginia, which Amazon announced in June. This solar farm will produce 170,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year.
Amazon is pushing renewable energy in the coming years. The company plans to use renewable energy for 100% of its global infrastructure, and by the end of 2016, Amazon hopes to be at 40% of its goal.
There is still a long way to go. At the end of May, Amazon announced construction of three new data centers in Ohio, in a region where 70-85% of the electricity is generated by burning coal. The company didn’t announce their planned power source for these data centers, but their new facilities could demand up to 480 megawatts. This may be a high demand they can’t keep up with.
However, Amazon has many plans for renewable energy in the future. It is currently setting up a smaller wind farm in Virginia and announced they would try out Tesla’s energy storage batteries, which are designed to be used with renewable power sources.