Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Purchaser of Renewable Energy Again

Amazon brownfield project in maryland

(Credit: Amazon)

by | Jan 19, 2024

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Amazon was the world’s largest purchaser of renewable energy in 2023 for the fourth year in a row, according to the e-commerce giant. 

The company has more than 500 solar and wind projects globally generating more than 77,000 gigawatt-hours of clean energy each year — enough to power 7.2 million homes in the United States. The announcement comes after the company invested in more than 100 new solar and wind projects in 2023, including its first brownfield projects and its first renewable energy project in South Korea. 

Amazon has been the world’s largest purchaser of renewable energy since 2020, according to BloombergNEF and publicly available sources. Amazon said its investments have moved the company closer to its goal of having 100% of the electricity powering its operations attributable to renewable energy sources by 2025. Already the projects help power Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, Amazon fulfillment centers, physical stores, and corporate offices.

“Amazon’s investments in solar and wind projects are helping power our operations, while also providing new sources of clean energy to the grid, spurring economic growth, and supporting jobs in the communities where our customers live and work,” Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS, said in the company’s announcement. “More than 90% of our operations were powered by renewables last year, but we’re not done. We’re focused on continuing to find innovative ways to bring new projects online, address grid constraints, and work with policymakers to mitigate the impacts of climate change, all of which is helping Amazon move closer to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2025.”

Growing Clean Energy Portfolio

So far, Amazon has renewable energy projects in 27 countries and 20 U.S. states, and has new projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia so far this year, as well as Canada, Greece and South Korea.

Amazon’s first endeavor into brownfields, Amazon Solar Farm Maryland-CPV Backbone, is being built on the site of the recently closed Arch Coal Mine in Garrett County, Maryland. Brownfields are land that has been abandoned due to industrial pollution. The site holds a 120-year-old mine that was previously contaminated with more than 45 acres of coal refuse. The area has since been reclaimed.

Once completed, the CPV Backbone project is expected to be the largest solar farm in Maryland, featuring more than 300,000 solar panels. The project is expected to employ more than 200 skilled workers and help avoid more than 133,000 tons of carbon each year. 

Adding Renewable Energy Projects in Asia-Pacific

Amazon is also scaling its renewable energy projects in the Asia-Pacific region, adding more than a dozen projects so far this year, including two new wind farms in China, a wind farm in India, its first project in South Korea, as well as investments in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

“Amazon’s renewable energy investments continue to bring new solar and wind projects to market at a rapid pace and cement the company as a global leader in this space,” said Kyle Harrison, head of sustainability research at BloombergNEF. “Despite supply chain challenges, infrastructure hurdles, and rising prices over the past year, Amazon’s continued renewable commitments demonstrate how a corporation can help accelerate society’s transition to a clean energy future.”

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