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Public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced today that Iberdrola Renewables will build and operate a 208 megawatt (MW) wind farm in North Carolina’s Pasquotank and Perquimans counties on behalf of AWS. News about the facility, which will be called Amazon Wind Farm US East, comes just a few weeks after Amazon said it had tapped Community Energy to build a 80 MW solar farm in Virginia.
This isn’t the first wind farm AWS has sought to get up and running. In January, the cloud division of Amazon.com said it was working with Pattern Energy Group LP to build a 150 MW wind farm in Indiana.
Amazon in the past few years has put up with criticism — particularly from Greenpeace — about the energy use of its public cloud, and to that end, in November AWS committed to running completely on renewable energy. Today’s announcement advances that strategic goal.
And that ambition is important, given that Amazon has so many customers — more than 1 million, by Amazon’s count. Amazon now generates more than $5 billion in revenue annually, and its energy decisions count for a lot, as a result. The commitment also does a lot for the companies that deal in large-scale renewable energy projects.
In addition to the wind and solar farms, AWS is exploring other tools for smarter energy usage, namely Tesla’s recently announced Powerwall battery units. AWS earlier this year said that it was testing them out for its U.S. West (Northern California) region of data centers.
For those who are interested in the cloud, renewable energy, and Greenpeace’s attacks, AWS vice president and distinguished engineer James Hamilton’s recent blog post about those subjects is worth a read.
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