Amazon Web Services, Inc. has teamed with Community Energy, Inc. to support the construction and operation of an 80MW solar farm in Accomack County, Va., called Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East. This new solar farm is expected to start generating approximately 170,000 MWh of solar power annually as early as October 2016 – or the equivalent of that used by approximately 15,000 U.S. homes in a year. Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East will be the largest solar farm in the state of Virginia, with all energy generated delivered into the electrical grids that supply both current and future AWS Cloud datacenters.
In November 2014, AWS shared its long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint. As of April 2015, AWS announced that approximately 25% of the power consumed by its global infrastructure comes from renewable energy sources with an interim goal of increasing that percentage to at least 40% by the end of 2016. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East follows a similar PPA for Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) in Benton County, Ind., that was announced in January 2015 and is expected to generate approximately 500,000 MWh of wind power annually. Both represent key steps toward meeting these goals.
“We continue to make significant progress toward our long-term commitment to power the global AWS infrastructure with 100% renewable energy,” said Jerry Hunter, vice president of Infrastructure at Amazon Web Services. “Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East – the second PPA that will serve both existing and planned AWS datacenters in the central and eastern U.S. – has the added benefit of working to increase the availability of renewable energy in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe commented, “Amazon’s new solar project will create good jobs on the Eastern Shore and generate more clean, renewable energy to fuel the new Virginia economy. I look forward to working with Amazon and Accomack to get this project online as we continue our efforts to make Virginia a global leader in the renewable energy sector.”