The cloud is getting cleaner.
Amazon announced today that it is building a wind farm to power future Amazon Web Service data centers. The company announced last year that it would run all of its AWS data centers on renewable energy in the long term. This is its biggest step toward that goal so far.
The new wind farm will be built in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, North Carolina, and generate enough energy to power 61,000 homes. The 208 megawatt facility will be constructed and maintained by Iberdrola Renewables and will be the first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina.
As of April, Amazon’s cloud services division has moved 25 percent of its energy needs to renewables.
“This agreement, and those previously in place, puts AWS on track to surpass our goal of 40 percent renewable energy globally by the end of 2016,” said AWS vice president of infrastructure Jerry Hunter. “We’re far from being done. We’ll continue pursuing projects that deliver clean energy to the various energy grids that serve AWS data centers.”
Amazon was given an “F” rating from Greenpeace in May for its lack of transparency in where the company gets its energy. The wind farm announced today is planned to come online in December 2016, initially supplying 670,000 megawatt hours per year to the region’s energy grid and eventually powering AWS data centers.
Altogether, Amazon’s current and planned renewable energy production will reach 1.3 million megawatt hours annually, enough to power 122,000 US homes.