Amazon Web Services (AWS) commits to operating the AWS Cloud 100% by renewable energy. As part of this commitment, the company announced to add five solar power projects, totaling 180MW, in Virginia to its renewable energy portfolio. The projects will be developed under Dominion’s support and are scheduled to connect to the grid by the end of 2017.
“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 working with Dominion, AWS will connect 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 solar projects, each with a capacity of 20MW, and the 100MW Amazon Solar Farm US East 6 to the grid in Virginia by the end of 2017. All these projects are located across the Commonwealth of Virginia, precisely and respectively in New Kent, Buckingham, Sussex, Powhatan, and Southampton counties.
Dominion acquired the four 20-MW projects from Virginia Solar LLC and the 100MW project from Community Energy Solar. Dominion has selected Strata Solar as the EPC service provider for the former four and Signal Energy for the latest one. After completion and grid connection, Dominion will own and operate all the five facilities as part of the Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East portfolio. In addition, Dominion expects the projects to qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit.
Amazon’s first project for the portfolio is an 80MW solar project located in Accomack County, Virginia which is already in production. The six project are expected to produce over 580,000MWh of clean electricity per year, enough to power 65,000 households.
To date, AWS has enabled 10 renewable energy projects in the U.S. that will deliver a grand total of 2,600,000MWh of energy annually onto the electric grid powering AWS data centers located in the AWS US East (Ohio) and AWS US East (N. Virginia) Regions. The projects that are currently producing energy include the 150MW Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge in Indiana and the 80MW Amazon Solar Farm US East in Virginia. The 208MW Amazon Wind Farm US East in North Carolina is on track to begin generating electricity by the end of 2016. In addition to Amazon Solar Farms US East 2 - 6, other projects that will be in production prior to the end of 2017 include the 100MW Amazon Wind Farm US Central and the 189MW Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2 in Ohio.
The huge amount of renewable energy portfolio enables AWS to exceed its 2016 goal of 40% renewable energy by the end of this year so the company further set a short-term goal to be powered by 50% renewable energy by the end of 2017.
“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,” noted DeSantis. “That said, we are nowhere near done. We will continue to make progress toward our 100 percent goal and have many exciting initiatives planned.”
(Photo Source: Amazon Sustainability)