Amazon. com Inc. is turning to wind to power data centers forming its giant global network after committing in November to drive all operations on renewable energy.
The online retailer will buy electricity from a planned 150-megawatt wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, for 13 years, the project’s owner and developer Pattern Energy Group LP said Tuesday in a statement. Amazon Web Services will use the wind energy at its data centers, joining other technology companies that are buying power from clean energy projects.
Amazon has more than a million people using its cloud-computing services, a network so vast and complex that it operates as one of the largest computers on the planet. Each of its 11 cloud regions across the world has multiple sets of data centers. A typical center contains 50,000 to 80,000 servers that run software for Amazon and for companies like Netflix Inc. and Pinterest Inc.
Apple Inc. powers all of its data centers with renewable energy and Google Inc. gets 35 percent of the power needed to run its operations from solar panels and wind turbines that cut emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.
Amazon’s “massive size and rapid growth” make the purchase agreement a “good first step to meet the promise” of obtaining all its power from renewable sources, David Pomerantz, Greenpeace senior energy campaigner, said in a statement.
Amazon plans to purchase more clean power, Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at the Seattle-based company’s cloud computing unit, said in the statement.
The agreement is “one of many sustainability activities and renewable energy projects for powering our data centers that we currently have in the works,” he said.
The Amazon Web Services Wind Farm is expected to be completed later this year or in early 2016. San Francisco-based Pattern will start construction in April. The project will generate enough electricity to power about 46,000 U.S. homes annually.
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