Amazon is now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy

Amazon announced 26 new utility-scale solar and wind energy projects totaling 3.4 GW of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year.

Amazon has now invested in 6.5 GW of solar and wind projects that will enable the company to supply its operations with more than 18 million MWh of renewable energy annually. This is enough to power 1.7 million U.S. homes for one year. These projects will supply renewable energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfillment centers and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers that support millions of customers globally.

They will also help advance Amazon’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040. Part of that commitment is powering Amazon’s infrastructure with 100% renewable energy.

“Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power our businesses with renewable energy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “With a total of 127 solar and wind projects, Amazon is now the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever. We are on a path to running 100% of our business on renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of our original target of 2030. This is just one of the many steps we’re taking that will help us meet our ‘Climate Pledge.’ I couldn’t be more proud of all the teams across Amazon that continue to work hard, smart and fast to get these projects up and running.”

The 26 new renewable energy projects are located in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the United States, Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe.

“Private sector investment is essential to scaling renewable energy at the pace necessary to drive global climate action,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance. “The U.S.-based projects alone make Amazon’s announcement 270% larger than the largest corporate procurement announcement from a single off-taker to date, and showcase the company’s leadership and commitment to a clean and prosperous energy future.”

ACCIONA will provide Amazon with clean energy in the United States with the electrical production corresponding to 641 MW. To help power Amazon’s operations with a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), ACCIONA will build four new PV plants in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, with a total capacity of 889 MW, investing close to $1 billion over the next four years to develop these new projects.

These new assets come under ACCIONA’s growth strategy to install 5 GW of new renewable energy capacity worldwide between 2020 and 2024. The company currently has a total installed capacity of over 10.5 GW in sixteen countries.

“These four new projects with ACCIONA help us toward our goal of powering our operations with 100% renewable energy,” said Nat Sahlstrom, Director, Amazon Energy. “ACCIONA’s sizeable projects enable us to add more than 640MW of renewable power to the grid. Our push for more renewable energy is one more step toward our goal of reaching net-zero carbon by 2040 as part of Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge.”

ENGIE announces several energy offtake contracts with Amazon for a global renewable energy portfolio of wind and solar projects across the United States, Italy and France totaling 650 MW. These Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) will exclusively rely upon renewable energy production facilities developed by ENGIE. For ENGIE, this operation is the largest portfolio of agreements signed at once with a single counterparty.

In the United States, Amazon’s new renewable energy solar and wind projects with ENGIE represent 569 MW in Delaware, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. They will supply Amazon with approximately 1,850 GWh of power and with the associated project renewable energy credits annually. During construction, ENGIE will create approximately 300 jobs at each wind facility and 210 jobs at each solar facility. Projects are expected to reach commercial operation in 2021 through 2022.

“On behalf of the renewable sector, we applaud Amazon for its unprecedented contribution to the renewable energy transition this year. With an impressive 35 major new renewable projects in 2020, Amazon deserves tremendous credit for its leadership in the global shift to renewable energy. Procuring more than 4,000 MW of new renewable power in a single year is an incredible achievement, and it marks big progress toward Amazon’s goal of being powered by 100% renewable power. We are immensely grateful to Amazon for their efforts to help us stay within shouting distance of the greenhouse gas emission reductions scientists say are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy.

Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 31 signatories, including Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft and Best Buy.

To reach its goal, Amazon will continue to reduce emissions across its operations by establishing a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, five years ahead of the company’s initial target of 2030; delivering its Shipment Zero vision to make all shipments net-zero carbon, with 50% net-zero carbon by 2030; and purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles.

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