Amazon has announced plans for a new 105 MW solar project in Australia, its second one in the country. The Australian project was announced alongside four others in China and the U.S. as part of the company’s commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030, as well as to reach net zero carbon by 2040.
While it did not say who would develop the five projects with a cumulative capacity of 615 MW, the online retailing giant said the new solar farms will power its shipping warehouses and data centers. “As a signatory to The Climate Pledge, we’re committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reaching net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability, Amazon. “These five new renewable energy projects are a critical part of our roadmap to reach this goal. In fact, we believe it is possible to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the goals we announced last fall.”
The Australian project located in New South Wales will have the capacity to generate 250,000 MWh of clean energy each year, which is enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes. It will be Amazon’s second solar farm in Australia following a deal with Canadian Solar announced in March to buy the output of its 146 MW Gunnedah Solar Farm in New South Wales. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation by 2021.
Amazon’s renewables pledge in Australia follows an attempt to withhold its emissions data from public viewing last year on grounds that doing so could reveal trade secrets about its data centers to competitors. That bid failed and in November Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator published an emissions data table that revealed the company’s carbon footprint stood at 55,737 tons in the 2017-18 financial year. The figures also showed Amazon consumed 243,570 gigajoules of energy in the same period.
Globally, Amazon has announced 31 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 60 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers. Together, these projects totaling over 2,900 MW of capacity will deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of renewable energy annually, the company calculates.