Amazon Web Services builds mammoth data centre wind farm

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AWS recently announced that it was building data centres to serve the on-shore data needs of UK customers

Amazon Web Services has contracted with EDP Renewables to construct and operate a 100 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Paulding County, Ohio, called the Amazon Wind Farm US Central.

This new wind farm is expected to start generating approximately 320,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually starting in May 2017. The energy generated will be delivered into the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS Cloud data centres.

In November 2014, AWS shared its long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint. In April 2015, AWS announced that approximately 25 percent of the power consumed by its global infrastructure was from renewable energy sources, with a goal of increasing that percentage to at least 40 percent by the end of 2016.

Cloud green contract deal © kenjito ShutterstockWe continue to pursue projects that help to develop more renewable energy sources to the grids that power AWS data centres, and bring us closer to achieving our long term goal of powering our global infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy,” said Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at Amazon Web Services.

Previously announced renewable energy projects [in the US] put AWS on track to surpass our goal of 40 percent renewable energy globally by the end of 2016. This latest project, Amazon Wind Farm US Central, pushes our renewable energy percentage ever higher‎.”

EDP Renewables says it is the fourth largest producer of wind power in the world. The company operates in 12 markets, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Spain, US, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, UK, Romania and Mexico.

João Manso Neto, CEO of EDP Renewables, said: “The fact that businesses such as AWS are playing such an active part in renewable energy projects is a very clear indicator that the future lies in additional generation of this type of energy.”

Earlier this month, AWS said it would be addressing the needs of UK organisations who need to keep their data on-shore, by opening UK data centres. At the moment, UK AWS customers using the company’s data services are usually served by AWS data centres located in Ireland and Germany.

It is not clear at this stage whether the UK data centres to be opened by the end of next year or early 2017 will be powered by renewable energy.

@AntonySavvas