Amazon to invest in 'utility-scale' South African renewable energy project - TechCentral

Amazon to invest in ‘utility-scale’ South African renewable energy project

Amazon.com said on Thursday that it is adding 26 new “utility-scale” wind and solar projects around the world, including facilities in South Africa, bringing the total number of such projects to 127.

Though the company said little about its South African plans, they come soon after its giant cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services (AWS), opened a data centre “region” in Cape Town.

Seattle, US-based Amazon said in a statement that the 26 new renewable energy projects are located in South Africa, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the US. The projects will deliver a total of 3.4GW of electricy production capacity. Its renewable energy investments announced to date will supply 6.5GW of capacity.

The new projects are Amazon’s first in South Africa, France, Germany and Italy.

The company wasn’t immediately able to provide more information about Amazon’s renewable energy plans in South Africa when contacted by TechCentral. A spokeswoman for AWS said the company is “unable at this stage” to share details of the investment. “As soon as we have details to share, we will send them through to you.”

Net-zero emissions

“These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy,” the company said in a statement. Its total investment announced so far means it will be able to supply its operations with more than 18 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually, or enough to power 1.7 million US homes for one year, it said.

“These projects will supply renewable energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfilment centres and AWS data centres… They will also help advance Amazon’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040.”

Amazon said it is on track to power 100% of its infrastructure with renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its original target, said CEO Jeff Bezos in the statement. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media

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