Amazon announces 265 MW in new solar, wind as part of 100% renewables pledge

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon on Thursday announced three new renewable energy projects, totaling 265 MW as part of its efforts to power 80% of its operations from renewable power by 2024 and 100% by 2030.
  • Two of the projects will be U.S.-based solar farms and the third will be a wind farm in the U.K., all scheduled to begin operations by 2021. The solar projects are set to be sited in North Carolina and Virginia, totaling 215 MW. The wind agreement is for a 50 MW facility sited in Scotland and is the largest corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) in the U.K.
  • Amazon in September announced its renewable energy goals as part of a broader aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. The company has launched 18 other utility-scale solar and wind projects, according to its press release.

Dive Insight:

Corporate procurement of renewable energy continues to be a major driver of clean energy growth in the U.S. and abroad.

Several other major corporations also have 100% renewables goals, including Target, Google and Proctor & Gamble.

P&G’s goal was to purchase all of its energy from renewables in the U.S. and Canada by 2020, and the company announced that it reached that goal on Wednesday by  purchasing 80% of a Texas wind farm on Oct. 19 and opening a new biomass plant in Georgia on Sept. 26.

In Q3 of 2019, the top 10 corporate purchases of renewable energy averaged 411 MW, according to Greenbiz, with Google signing the largest deal at 1.6 GW across 18 wind and solar projects in September. AT&T followed a day later with the second biggest renewables deal of Q3 at 960 MW and Honda signed the third largest deal at 320 MW.

In 2018, Facebook, Google and Amazon all led the corporate renewables market with a 35.1% share, while the corporate renewables market in total made up 22% of all wind and solar PPAs in the U.S.

Customer pressure, competition and cheap renewable power prices coupled with expensive, energy-intensive operations have all been credited with the uptick in corporate renewables interest.

Amazon has a range of other commitments under its climate pledge, including ramping up its energy efficiency and electric vehicle use. In September, the company ordered 100,000 electric delivery trucks, which it will begin using for deliveries in 2021. All 100,000 vehicles will be on the road by 2030, according to the company.