By: Frederic Lardinois
Amazon today announced that it is working with the Pattern Energy Group to construct and operate a 150 megawatt wind farm in Benton County, Indiana.
The new wind farm will go online in about a year and the expectation is that it will supply at least 500,000 megawatt hours of wind power annually. That’s enough to power about 46,000 U.S. homes, but the “Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge)” — that’s the full name of what was previously called the “Fowler Ridge IV Wind Project” — will only be used to power Amazon’s AWS data centers. Amazon is not disclosing the financial details of this project, but Pattern Energy notes that this is a 13-year agreement.
As Amazon announced last November, its long-term goal is “to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint.” That’s a noble goal, but given that there is no date associated with these plans, it’s a bit hard to hold Amazon accountable for it. For now, Amazon offers its users three carbon-neutral regions: US West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt) and its AWS GovCloud.
“Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) will bring a new source of clean energy to the electric grid where we currently operate a large number of datacenters and have ongoing expansion plans to support our growing customer base,” said Jerry Hunter, Vice President of Infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, in today’s announcement. “This [power purchase agreement] helps to increase the renewable energy used to power our infrastructure in the US and is one of many sustainability activities and renewable energy projects for powering our datacenters that we currently have in the works.”
While Google has made various wind energy investments over the last few years, this is Amazon’s first (or at least the first one it is publicly talking about).