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Amazon solar panels
Workers write messages on the solar panels installed on the roof of Amazon’s fulfillment center in Baltimore. (Amazon Photo via Twitter)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk isn’t the only tech billionaire who’s high on solar power: Today,  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted about the latest step in his company’s campaign to install rooftop solar systems on at least 50 of its fulfillment and sortation centers by 2020.

This week it was Baltimore’s turn.

The more than 6,000 panels installed on the roof of the fulfillment center in Baltimore should produce almost 2 megawatts of power, Amazon’s Tom Chandlee told WJZ.

“We’re expecting about a 30 percent savings in our overall energy bill, which is great, because we can pass that savings on to our customers,” Shan Byrne, the Baltimore fulfillment center’s general manager, was quoted as saying.

By the end of this year, Amazon aims to have 15 of its centers set up for solar power. That’s a lot of real estate, since the centers’ rooftops can span more than 1 million square feet.

When Amazon announced the program in March, the Seattle-based company said it expected its rooftop installations to be generating up to 41 megawatts of electricity and satisfying up to 80 percent of a center’s power needs by the end of 2017.

Even if Amazon hits its 50-center target, there’ll still be room to expand. The company already has more than 100 fulfillment centers and redistribution centers in the United States, with more on the way, according to MWPVL International.

Amazon is also pioneering large-scale wind and energy projects across the country through purchase deals with utilities. The projects that have been begun or announced so far are slated to generate 3.6 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy when they’re completed.

The company hasn’t publicized the cost of its renewable energy efforts, but it’s shaping up as a windfall for solar panel installers. Even Tesla and its SolarCity subsidiary are getting in on some of the action – although Amazon partnered with a different company, Sol Systems, for the Baltimore project.

This report has been updated to note Solar City’s participation in Amazon’s rooftop solar panel installation campaign.

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