Amazon buys 50% of the energy generated by the Shell wind farm in the Netherlands

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Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, announces the formation of The Climate Pledge at the National Press Club on September 19, 2019 in Washington.

Paul Morigi | Getty Images | Amazon

LONDON – Amazon announced on Monday that it plans to buy half the power of a huge new wind farm in the Netherlands.

Shell and Eneco secured the right to build the 759 megawatt wind farm in the North Sea last July, and Amazon has announced that it will now buy more than 380 MW of its capacity to operate in Europe.

Amazon said the “Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project” will be the largest single renewable energy project to date at one location. The offshore wind farm is expected to be in operation until 2023.

The wind farm is located 18.5 kilometers off the Dutch coast and extends over an area of ​​125 square kilometers. It is operated by the CrossWind Consortium, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco.

69 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines are to be equipped with an output of 11 MW and a rotor diameter of 200 meters.

The offshore wind farm will include five technology prototypes with the potential to be fully implemented in the future, including a floating solar farm and “optimally tuned turbines”.

Tech turns green

Like other tech giants, Amazon plans to use its billions to pay for more renewable energy sources and reduce its carbon footprint.

The company’s data centers around the world use large amounts of electricity to perform computing tasks for Amazon and other businesses.

Over the years, Greenpeace has accused Amazon of keeping the energy sources for powering the centers operated by Amazon Web Services relatively secret. AWS has denied the allegations.

Amazon has also been criticized for increasing pollution on its planes and vans and for using excessive cardboard when packaging its products.

Amazon said the Dutch project will bring it closer to its goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040 and allow it to use 100% renewable energy by 2025, which is five years ahead of schedule.

The company currently has 187 solar and wind projects worldwide. This includes 125 solar roof installations in the huge warehouses known as fulfillment centers.

The largest rooftop solar installation in Europe is in the UK and the equivalent of 28 soccer fields, which means it can produce enough electricity for 700 households for a year, Amazon said.

The company added that its renewable energy projects are now generating more than 6.9 gigawatts and delivering more than 20 million megawatt hours of energy annually.

According to its own information, Amazon is the world’s largest buyer of renewable energies.