Tech giant Amazon has earmarked a site in Scotland as the home of a new ‘purpose built’ onshore wind farm aimed at powering their data centres in what is described as the UK’s “largest ever corporate wind power purchase agreement”.
Under “game-changing” plans laid out by the corporation, a wind farm boasting a max capacity of 50 megawatts (MW), will be constructed on the Kintyre Peninsula and is expected to produce 168,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy each year.
It is hoped the facility – which is set to be built and operated without any form of public subsidy – could power the equivalent of 46,000 UK homes as the firm hit back at suggestions it was not committed to hitting renewable energy targets.
Under the radical plans, the wind farm would be used to power Amazon Web Services centres around the world.
Kenneth Matthews, head of energy at Amazon Web Services said: “Looking at Scotland specifically, according to the government the country was able to achieve a record level of renewable energy generation in 2018.”
“Around 75 per cent of its electricity demand was met from renewable sources and onshore wind energy alone was capable of meeting more than 50 per cent of its gross electricity demand.
“Those figures are hugely exciting, and they illustrate the importance of onshore wind in the energy mix as a cost-effective and efficient source of energy generation.”
He added: “These are different from most other wind farms in operation, as they’ll be built and operated without any form of public subsidy.”
“This means that there is no cost to energy consumers in developing or operating these projects. We believe this is a game changer for the renewable energy industry. It demonstrates how wind energy can and is standing on its own.”
The site was launched as one of three new renewable energy centres designed to power the corporation’s future and help it meet goals of 80 per cent renewable energy use by 2024.
It comes just weeks after a senior Google executive warned big tech firms were now locked in a “clean energy arms race” to power their operations via renewable technology.
The firm has also launched a “transparency website” to report on “sustainability commitments, initiatives, and performance.”
The site contains information on Amazon’s carbon footprint, which it reports as being 44.40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for the 2018 fiscal year.
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute council confirmed planning bids for two windfarms in the region had been lodged with the authority, but was unable to confirm the identity of the applicants.
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