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January 21, 2015

Amazon to harness wind for data centre power

AWS goes green with wind farm expected to generate 500,000MW hours of wind power per year.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Amazon Web Services has taken steps towards using renewable energy after announcing plans to construct a 150MW wind farm in western Indiana.

The cloud services provider has struck a deal with Pattern Energy Group to power its current and future data centres with renewable energy for an undisclosed amount.

The wind farm, set to launch in January 2016, is expected to generate 500,000MW hours of wind power per year, which is enough to power 46,000 US homes annually, Amazon said.

"Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) will bring a new source of clean energy to the electric grid where we currently operate a large number of datacenters and have ongoing expansion plans to support our growing customer base," AWS’s VP of Infrastructure Jerry Hunter said.

"This PPA helps to increase the renewable energy used to power our infrastructure in the US and is one of many sustainability activities and renewable energy projects for powering our datacenters that we currently have in the works."

The announcement comes after Greenpeace criticised Amazon in April 2014 for being among the least committed to renewable energy and powering its infrastructure "based solely on lowest electricity prices".

Following this, Amazon announced plans to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure footprint in November 2014.

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Pattern Development’s CEO Mike Garland added: "We are excited to be working with Amazon Web Services and we commend the Company for its commitment to sustainability and its continued pioneering and leadership in cloud computing."

"We look forward to working with AWS as it progresses towards its goal of using 100% renewable energy."

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