Amazon.com is building a 150-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Benton County, Ind., which will supply electricity for its Amazon Web Services (AWS). That amount of energy could power 46,000 households. The Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) is expected to start operating in January 2016, according to an Amazon press release.
Construction and operation of the Amazon wind farm will generate $40 million for the local economy over 25 years, said Brad Hillman, engineering manager of independent power company Pattern Energy Group, in a statement to WISH-TV.
Pattern Energy acquired the project in 2013 and entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement with the online retail operator. The power company owns a majority share of the Indiana Amazon wind farm and developed the site for two years.
Pattern Energy will build the wind farm’s 65 wind turbines on dormant farmland.
This isn’t Amazon’s first venture into alternative energy. In July, the company announced that it is building North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind farm, which will produce 670,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. In addition, AWS is backing the construction of an 80-MW solar farm in Virginia, scheduled to begin operating in October 2016. The North Carolina and Virginia farms will also be used to power the electrical grid that itself powers AWS Cloud data centers.
In 2014, AWS announced a long-term commitment to achieving 100 percent renewable-energy usage for its global infrastructure. In 2011, AWS made its U.S. West Oregon region carbon-neutral. Other carbon-neutral regions include the EU (Frankfurt) and its U.S. GovCloud. AWS’s power purchase agreement with Pattern Energy for its new Indiana wind farm “is an important step toward that goal,” AWS said in a press release.