Amazon's chief executive posted a video online showing his ceremonial opening of an Amazon-commissioned wind farm in Texas. Amazon's renewable energy push is designed in part to offset the massive power needs of the online retailer's cloud-computing unit.
Amazon has turned on its largest wind farm. To celebrate, chief executive Jeff Bezos went to the top of a 300-foot turbine, stood on the rotor, and smashed a bottle in a manner typically reserved for ocean liners or battleships.
The wind farm, made up of more than 100 turbines, can produce a million megawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power 90,000 homes. In this case, though, the electricity is aimed at offsetting the company’s energy demand, and particularly the huge appetite of the warehouse-sized data centers that power Amazon’s cloud-computing unit.
Amazon Web Services, the leader in providing rented computing power to businesses, aims to have its fleet of data centers powered entirely by renewable energy at some point. The Texas project follows Amazon-commissioned wind farms built in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
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Kara Hurst, Amazon’s director of sustainability, said in a news release that the company has 18 wind and solar projects running across the U.S., and 35 more in the works.
That hasn’t spared the company criticism from environmental group Greenpeace, which says the company’s data centers tend to be located in areas that rely on coal and other fossil-fuels. The group has also criticized Amazon for revealing few details on its energy footprint. AWS says it keeps details close to the vest to protect trade secrets.
The Texas project was built, and is owned and operated, by Lincoln Clean Energy.