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6 March 2017

Amazon to install giant rooftop solar systems on its distribution centres

Amazon has announced plans to install rooftop solar power systems on 15 of its American fulfilment and sortation centres by 2017, with a combined capacity of up to 41 megawatts (MW) of power.

The centres – located in California, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey – confirm the online retail giant’s commitment to greening its operations.

The company confirmed that while power output from the new arrays would vary according to location and season, the projects are expected to produce as much as 80 per cent of a single facility’s annually energy demand.

Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Patterson, California, is already host to an extensive rooftop solar power system, with solar panels covering more than three quarters of the roof of the 1.1 million square foot building – powering hundreds of Amazon robots operated by staff inside the warehouse.

Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, said: “As our fulfilment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders".

He went on to say: “By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers”.

Amazon’s rooftop solar energy commitments are the latest in a series of renewable energy projects pursued by the company.

In Texas, Amazon has installed its largest wind farm, with a capacity of 253 MW, generating approximately 1 million megawatt hours (MWh) of energy each year.

Further wind farms, located in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, provide power to Amazon Web Services (AWS) datacentres.

Clark said: "We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability – this is good for the environment, our business and our customers. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It's a win-win."

According to the company, to date Amazon has announced or commenced construction on projects which will generate a total of 3.6 million MW of renewable energy.

In the 2017 State of Green Business report, Amazon was found to be the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2016.

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