Amazon Web Services has announced it will be supporting the construction of a 150 MW wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, which will end up being known officially as the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge).
Amazon has signed a 13 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the energy generated from the Fowler Ridge wind farm, in conjunction with developer Pattern Energy Group.
The news comes only a few months after Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it intends to ensure 100% renewable energy usage.
Amazon Web Services supplies many of the Internet’s most popular websites and services with data storage, including Netflix, Pinterest, Reddit, and many more. In fact, according to a 2012 study, one third of all internet users visit a website based on Amazon’s infrastructure every day.
Amazon is already well on its way to achieving its 100% carbon-neutral status — its US West (Oregon), Europe (Germany), and AWS GovCloud (US) AWS regions are all reported as 100% carbon-neutral.
The new Fowler Ridge wind farm is expected to generate approximately 500,000 MW of wind power each year.
Some critics have targeted Amazon for not matching the targets of industry peers such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and others. Apple is currently running 100% of its data centers operations entirely off renewable energy, and 94% of its corporate campuses and data centers (this, according to 2013 figures reported by Apple — what makes the difference between a data center and a corporate data center is unclear). Google reports that it is using renewable energy to power 35% of their operations.
“Our agreement on Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) is part of our long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy to power the AWS global infrastructure,” said Jerry Hunter, Vice President of Infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “With agreements like this we’re increasing the amount of clean energy we consume while helping enable the construction of new renewable energy facilities.”