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Wind power. Photo via Alex Proimos
Wind power. Photo via Alex Proimos.

Amazon Web Services will soon use wind power to generate electricity for its cloud datacenters.

The Seattle giant today announced that it is partnering with Pattern Energy Group LP to build the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) in Benton County, Ind.

The new 150MW farm, which will provide energy to AWS datacenters starting in January 2016, will generate 500,000 megawatt hours of power annually, which Amazon says is enough to provide 46,000 homes with electricity for an entire year.

In November, Amazon made a long-term commitment to use renewable energy to power all of the company’s datacenters. That announcement came after Amazon was criticized by Greenpeace in the organization’s “green Internet” report because of its data centers’ current power sources.

On Tuesday, Greenpeace called Amazon’s announcement “a good first step.”

“Amazon’s wind purchase is a good first step to meet the promise that it will power its data centers with 100 percent renewable energy, and is welcome news for Amazon’s customers that have called on the company to embrace renewable energy,” said Greenpeace Senior Energy Campaigner David Pomerantz.

As of today, Amazon has carbon-neutral data centers in three regions: US West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt) and AWS GovCloud.

Amazon joins a number of other companies that have already made a similar renewable energy commitment, including Microsoft, Google and Apple. For example, Microsoft Research is working on a project that uses rack-mounted fuel cells to power server banks, and Google is using machine learning to increase efficiency.

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