Amazon invests in 26 wind and solar projects
Amazon has announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4GW of electricity production capacity.
The new projects are located in France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, UK, US and Australia.
It raises the company's total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4GW capacity, which it claims is the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year.
The e-commerce giant added it is on track to power its infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its initial target.
Amazon has now invested in 6.5GW of wind and solar projects that will enable the company to supply its operations with more than 18 million megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, enough to power 1.7 million US 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, and help advance Amazon’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040.
“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."
In the US, 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 (REBA). “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.”
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 has 31 signatories, including Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft and Best Buy.
Meanwhile bp will supply Amazon with an additional 404MW of wind power in Europe, starting in 2022 - 275MW sourced from a new wind project in Sweden and 129MW from two new wind projects in Scotland. This is in addition to the companies’ December 2019 agreement for bp to supply AWS in Europe with around 170MW of renewable power (click here).
Last December, bp agreed to migrate over 900 key applications hosted in its European mega data centres to the AWS cloud. One year on, the migration is running ahead of schedule with over 60 percent of bp’s European mega data centre workloads now migrated to the AWS cloud, including business-critical applications and trading platforms.
bp’s increasing digital transformation includes data migrations and application modernization to cloud-native technologies, as well as collaboration on several AI and ML use cases, for example:
- using Talk2Me – an automated AI support system powered by Amazon Alexa – to reduce 40 percent of helpdesk calls in bp retail;
- migrating to the Amazon Aurora cloud database for bp trading, achieving new levels of operational resiliency and performance improvements; and
- modernising bp procurement and supply chain using Amazon QuickSight, a business intelligence tool powered by machine learning, to automatically track purchases and analyse spending trends.
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.