Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the co-founding of The Climate Pledge at the National Press Club on September 19, 2019, in Washington.
Paul Morigi | Getty Images | Amazon
LONDON — Amazon announced Monday it plans to buy half of the energy produced by a huge new wind farm in the Netherlands.
Shell and Eneco secured the right to build the 759 megawatt wind farm in the North Sea last July, and Amazon said it would now purchase more than 380 MW of its output to power its operations in Europe.
Amazon said the “Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project” will be its largest single-site renewable energy project yet. The offshore wind farm is expected to be operational by 2023.
Located 18.5 kilometers off the Dutch coast and covering an area of 125 square kilometers, the wind farm will be operated by the CrossWind Consortium, which is a joint venture between Shell and Eneco.
It will reportedly feature 69 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa that have a capacity of 11 MW and a rotor diameter of 200 meters.
The offshore wind farm will include five technology prototypes that have the potential to be implemented at full scale in the future, including a floating solar park and “optimally tuned turbines.”
Tech goes green
Like other tech giants, Amazon is looking to use its billions to pay for more renewable sources of energy and reduce its carbon footprint.
The company’s data centers around the world use vast amounts of electricity to perform computing tasks for Amazon and other companies.
Over the years, Greenpeace has accused Amazon of being relatively secretive about the energy sources it uses to power the centers, which are operated by Amazon Web Services. AWS has denied the allegations.
Amazon has also been criticized for increasing pollution with its planes and vans, and for using excessive amounts of cardboard when packaging its products.
Amazon said the Netherlands project will bring it closer to its goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040 and allow it to run off 100% renewable energy by 2025, which is five years earlier than it previously planned.
The company said it now has 187 solar and wind projects worldwide. That includes 125 solar rooftop installations on its enormous warehouses, which it calls fulfilment centers.
The largest solar rooftop installation in Europe is in the U.K. and it’s equivalent to 28 soccer pitches, meaning it can produce enough power for 700 homes for one year, Amazon said.
The company added that its renewable energy projects now generate more than 6.9 gigawatts and deliver more than 20 million megawatt hours of energy annually.
Amazon says it is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.