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Published on May 27th, 2020 | by Zachary Shahan

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Amazon Going Solar — Big Time

May 27th, 2020 by  


Amazon, once a little online bookstore, is now a corporate behemoth. As such, it needs behemoth levels of energy. The good news is that a lot more of Amazon’s energy will be coming from the sun in the coming years, as Amazon is building 5 new utility-scale solar power plants in the US, China, and Australia.

The projects together will have 615 megawatts (MW) of power capacity, which is expected to generate 1.2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year. That is apparently enough electricity to power 113,000 average American homes.

“The five projects include Amazon’s first renewable energy project in China, second in Australia, second and third in Ohio, and 12th in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Amazon notes in a press release about the news. “Globally, Amazon has 91 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate over 2,900 MW and deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of energy annually, further supporting the Company’s Climate Pledge commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reach net zero carbon by 2040.”

Amazon promised to achieve 80% renewable energy share by 2024 and 100% by 2030. That must exclude transportation, though, as the company is not electrifying its fleets that quickly. The even better news, though, is the company thinks it can reach “100% renewable energy” much sooner than it committed.

“As a signatory to The Climate Pledge, we’re committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reaching net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability, Amazon. “These five new renewable energy projects are a critical part of our roadmap to reach this goal. In fact, we believe it is possible to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the goals we announced last fall. While this will be challenging, we have a credible plan to get there.”

If the stats above and the 5 new utility-scale solar power plants didn’t impress you, perhaps these stats will regarding the renewable energy projects Amazon has announced to date:

  • 31 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects
  • 60 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe
  • 2,900 MW of total power capacity
  • 7.6 million MWh of electricity expected to be produced annually
  • That would serve the electricity needs of around 680,000 American homes.

It’s hard to comprehend at that scale.

Here’s a bit more information on the 5 new projects, too:

USA

  • 200 MW solar power plant and 80 MW solar power plant in Ohio
  • 130 MW solar power plant in Virginia
  • 69,000 average U.S. homes could be powered from the generated solar energy each year

Australia

  • 105 MW solar power plant in New South Wales
  • 250,000 MWh of clean energy expected to come out of it each year
  • 40,000 average Australian homes could be powered with that energy

China

  • 100 MW solar power plant in Shandong
  • 128,000 MWh of sunlight-provided energy each year

There’s not much to complain about here. A 100% renewably powered Amazon by 2025 sounds nice, so we’ll be sure to cheer them on all along the way.

Want a blast from the past to see how far Amazon has come in 5–6 years? Here are a few older stories on Amazon:

All images courtesy Amazon

 


 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.



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