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Amazon Invests in Wind, Solar Energy to Meet Climate Pledge Goals

Amazon’s commitment to renewable energy was backed by a trio of fresh investments announced on Thursday.

The e-commerce giant said three new renewable energy projects, in the U.S. and U.K., support its commitment to The Climate Pledge and reaching 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 on its path to net zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon said investments in renewable energy are a critical step toward addressing the company’s carbon footprint globally.

Amazon’s newest renewable energy project in Europe will be the largest corporate wind power purchase agreement (PPA) in the U.K., located on Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula. Once complete, the new Amazon Wind Farm will provide 50 megawatts (MW) of new renewable capacity, with expected generation of 168,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy annually, enough to power 46,000 U.K. homes.

The company’s new renewable energy solar projects in the U.S. will be located in Warren County in North Carolina and Prince George County in Virginia. Combined, they total 215 MW and are expected to generate 500,997 MWh of energy annually. This will be Amazon’s second renewable energy project in North Carolina and eighth renewable energy project in Virginia.

After completion, the three new Amazon renewable energy wind and solar projects will provide 265 MW of additional renewable capacity and are expected to begin producing energy in 2021, supplying energy to the company’s Amazon Web Services data centers that power Amazon and millions of AWS customers globally.

To date, Amazon has launched 18 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate more than 1,600 MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 4.6 million MWh of clean energy annually. This is enough to power 368,000 U.S. homes.

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Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the world that generate 98 MW of renewable capacity and deliver 130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.

“In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, Amazon is committed to minimizing our carbon emissions and reaching 80 percent renewable energy use across the company by 2024,” Kara Hurst, Amazon’s director of sustainability, said.

“We’ve announced eight projects this year and have more projects on the horizon,” Hurst continued, “and we’re committed to investing in renewable energy as a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally. With nearly 70 renewable energy projects around the globe–including 54 solar rooftops–we are making significant progress toward reaching Amazon’s company-wide commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.”

To track progress toward these goals, Amazon launched a new transparency web site to report on its sustainability commitments, initiatives and performance. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making toward reaching The Climate Pledge.

Amazon said the new goals, commitments, investments and programs build on its long-term commitment to sustainability through existing innovative programs.

These include Shipment Zero, Amazon’s vision to make all shipments net zero carbon, sustainable packaging initiatives like Frustration-Free Packaging and Ship in Own Container that have reduced packaging waste 25 percent since 2015 and investments in the circular economy with the Closed Loop Fund.