Amazon Web Services Brings Five New Solar Farms To Help Power Its Massive Cloud Data Center

Solar Farms

Amazon Web Services is bringing on five new solar farms to help it run its cloud data center. The new solar farms across Virginia will bring a total of 180 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity onto the grid before the end of next year. New facilities along with the company’s existing plant are expected to generate more than 580,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy annually, making Amazon in its support of the AWS Cloud the largest corporate backer of solar projects east of the Mississippi River.

Amazon Solar Farm US East 2, Amazon Solar Farm US East 3, Amazon Solar Farm US East 4, and Amazon Solar Farm US East 5 are four individual facilities, each with a capacity of 20MW, located in New Kent, Buckingham, Sussex, and Powhatan counties respectively. Amazon Solar Farm US East 6 is a 100MW facility in Southampton County, Virginia.

Last month, AWS announced it expects to exceed its 2016 goal of 40 percent renewable energy by the end of this year and set a new, near-term goal to be powered by 50 percent renewable energy by the end of 2017. AWS is pursuing a number of initiatives to achieve these goals including enabling renewable energy projects, ongoing innovation in its facilities and equipment to increase energy efficiency, and advocating at the federal and state levels for policies aimed at creating a favorable renewable energy environment.

Amazon already fields 80MW facility in Accomack County, Virginia. The company worked with developers Virginia Solar LLC and Community Energy Solar on the projects, and will further collaborate with an affiliate of Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources, Inc. to own and operate the solar farms in long term.

We continue to ramp our sustainability efforts in areas where availability of renewable energy sources is low or proposed projects are stalled, and where the energy contribution goes onto the same electric grid that powers AWS data centers,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President, Infrastructure, AWS. “By enabling 10 utility scale renewable projects in the US to date, we are well positioned to meet our latest goal of 50 percent renewable energy powering the AWS global infrastructure by the end of 2017. That said, we are nowhere near done. We will continue to make progress toward our 100 percent goal and have many exciting initiatives planned.”

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