At Amazon, we are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability not only because it is good for the environment, but also for the customer. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It's a win-win-win.
To date, Amazon has announced or commenced construction of assets that will generate 3.6M MWhours of renewable energy each year.
Amazon has begun hosting large-scale rooftop solar systems on fulfillment centers across the country. Our goal is to have more than 50 fulfillment centers with rooftop solar installed by 2020. For more information about the solar initiative, see the video and blog post here.
In 2017, we launched our largest wind project to-date, Amazon Wind Farm Texas. A 253 MW wind farm in Scurry County with more than 100 turbines, the project will generate 1,000,000 MWh of wind energy annually – enough to power almost 90,000 U.S. homes.
Our energy and environmental efforts are taking place across the company, and at our locations around the world. We are retrofitting our existing buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, including converting lighting systems to low-emitting diode (LED) lighting. This change alone reduced our energy consumption to-date by approximately 50,000 MWh per year and we are gaining additional energy savings through low- and no-cost process and set point adjustments.
Amazon's newest buildings in the Denny Triangle area of Seattle are heated using an innovative approach to sustainability—recycling energy from a nearby data center. This "district energy" system works by capturing heat generated at a non-Amazon data center in the neighboring Westin Building and recycling that heat through underground water pipes instead of venting it into the atmosphere. This unique approach is nearly four times more efficient than traditional heating methods and will also enable the Westin Building data center to cut back on the energy it uses to cool its building.
The district energy system came about from a collaboration among Amazon, Clise Properties, McKinstry and the City of Seattle. Through it, Amazon will be able to heat three million square feet of office space. This ability to recycle energy from a neighbor is another big benefit of having an urban campus in the heart of Seattle.
Amazon signed the Sustainable Fuel Buyers’ Principles, demonstrating our commitment to working with service providers to accelerate the transition to low-carbon commercial transportation solutions. For example, across Europe, Amazon is contracting with our service providers to launch our first low-pollution fleet, comprised of 130 low-pollution, electric and natural gas vans and cars. We also have over 40 electric scooters and e-cargo bikes that complete local urban deliveries.
We manage our own fleet of trailer equipment. In North America, this includes a mix of 53’ trailers and 28’ pups, which are equipped with aerodynamic skirts and PSI automatic tire inflation systems to maximize fuel efficiency in our North American fleet. In the United Kingdom, we are testing and investing in double-deck trailers, which increase the load capacity per trailer, reducing the total number of trailers on the road.
Clean Power Plan amicus brief
In April 2016, Amazon joined Apple, Google, and Microsoft in filing a legal brief that supports the continued implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan (CPP) and discusses the technology industry's growing desire for affordable renewable energy across the U.S. Read the brief here.
American Business Act on Climate pledge
Amazon continues to support the Paris climate agreement and action on climate change. We believe that robust clean energy and climate policies can support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth.
AWS and sustainability
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is committed to running our business in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, AWS has a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.
In 2015, AWS announced the construction of Amazon Solar Farm US East, Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge, Amazon Wind Farm US Central and Amazon Wind Farm US East, located in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina respectively. Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge became operational January 1, 2016, and Amazon Solar Farm US East went into operation in October, 2016.
In 2016, AWS announced the construction of Amazon Wind Farm US Central 2, a 189 megawatt wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio. We also announced five additional solar farms: Amazon Solar Farm US East 2, Amazon Solar Farm US East 3, Amazon Solar Farm US East 4, Amazon Solar Farm US East 5 each have a capacity of 20 megawatts and are located in New Kent, Buckingham, Sussex, and Powhatan counties in Virginia. Amazon Solar Farm US East 6 is a 100 megawatt facility in Southampton County, Virginia.
These ten renewable energy projects will deliver a total of 2.6 million MWh of energy annually onto the electric grid powering AWS data centers located in the AWS US East (Ohio) and AWS US East (N. Virginia) Regions. The electricity produced from these projects is enough to power the equivalent of over 240,000 U.S. homes annually, which is approximately the size of the city of Portland, Oregon.