Solar Farm Created By Amazon To Fuel Virginia Data Centers

Data center service giant Amazon announced in early June that it is starting construction on a Virginia solar farm in order to further the company's data center sustainability efforts.

The farm, located in Accomack County, Virginia, will provide 80 MW of solar power. The $150 million facility will be known as Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East and is the second major renewable energy purchase for Amazon this year after the company acquired a wind farm in Indiana. Amazon is partnering with Community Energy to support the construction and operation of the farm. The project is expected to be operational as early as October 2016 and will be able to generate 170,000 MWh annually.

Accomack County was chosen for the farm because Amazon has large Virginia data center holdings. The company's facilities are currently being served by Dominion Power, which uses a fuel mix consisting of only 2 percent renewable energy sources. The new solar farm will be located about 200 miles from Amazon's major data center cluster in Northern Virginia.

"We continue to make significant progress towards our long-term commitment to power the global AWS infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy," said Jerry Hunter, Amazon Web Services vice president of infrastructure.

While Virginia is home to a large data center market, it doesn't offer many renewable energy sources. The Amazon Solar Farm will be the largest in the state and all energy generated will be delivered into the electrical grid that supplies Amazon's Virginia data centers. The solar farm will supply power to both existing and future facilities in the area. The company has two new projects planned in the region, including a massive Ashburn data center.

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