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Amazon commits to five new utility-scale solar projects

25 May 2020

Amazon has committed to five new renewable energy projects in China, Australia and the U.S. that further support Amazon’s commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 (and potentially as early as 2025), as well as to reach net-zero carbon by 2040.

Amazon profits have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers have moved their purchasing online.

The company has come under steady criticism over the last several years for the working conditions in its fulfilment centres and refusal to provide paid sick leave to employees during the pandemic which, astoundingly, is still not a right for the majority of US Americans. 

As Jeff Bezos has risen to the top of the wealthiest people list, this juxtaposition of his own net worth and what the company provides to employees is largely the cause of this widespread disapproval.

Amazon’s first renewable energy project in China is a 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in Shandong. Once complete, the project is expected to generate 128,000-megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean energy annually.

Amazon’s second renewable energy project in Australia is a 105 MW solar project in New South Wales. 

This project will have the capacity to generate 250,000 MWh of clean energy each year, which is enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes.

Amazon’s newest renewable energy projects in the U.S. include two new projects in Ohio, a 200 MW solar project and an 80 MW solar project. 

Additionally, a new 130 MW solar project in Virginia brings the total number of renewable energy projects in the Commonwealth to 12. 

Once enabled, these three U.S.-based projects have the capacity to power the equivalent of 69,000 average U.S. homes each year.

When complete, the five new Amazon renewable energy projects totalling 615 MW of installed capacity will supply approximately 1.2 million MWh of additional renewable energy to the company’s fulfilment network and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres.

To date, Amazon has announced 31 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 60 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres and sort centres globally. 

Together, these projects total over 2,900 MW of capacity, delivering more than 7.6 million MWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power 680,000 U.S. homes.

“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,” says Amazon sustainability vice president Kara Hurst. 

“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.”