Amazon buys wind power in Scotland in new renewable push

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Amazon will take power from a wind farm in Scotland and more solar in the US, in the latest ramp-up of its renewable energy commitments.

The web retail giant said a 50MW PPA with a wind project in on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland will be “the largest corporate wind power deal in the UK” delivering 168GWh annually when it starts producing power in 2021. Further details of the project, to be called the Amazon Wind Farm, were not disclosed.

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Corporate deals with the likes of Amazon are seen as a big prize for UK onshore wind, which is locked out of the British government’s contract-for-difference renewables support mechanism.

Amazon will also take power from 215MW of solar at plants in North Carolina and Virginia in the US, where the online group is already a major procurer of renewable energy.

All three projects will deliver power to help green the consumption of data centres run by its Amazon Web Services unit.

Amazon said it already has 1.6GW of wind and solar under its wing as part of a push to become 100%-renewable by 2030.

A senior Google executive told a recent conference on corporate renewable energy that large tech companies were now in a type of “arms race” to buy wind and solar power, but an official from the European chemicals industry warned that greening IT data centres was no substitute for cleaning up the output from giant chemical, paper and steel plants.