A nearly 100MW wind farm approved for construction on the outskirts of the Victorian Western District town of Hawkesdale has inked a deal to supply renewable energy to US online retail giant Amazon.
In a statement on Friday, Amazon said it had agreed to source 325,000MWh of renewable energy a year from the 96.6MW Hawkesdale wind farm, to help power its corporate offices, fulfilment centres, and data centres that support millions of customers globally.
For the owner of the Hawkesdale wind farm, Global Power Generation – a joint venture that is majority-owned by Spain-based Naturgy Energy Group, previously known as Union Fenosa – the PPA chalks up another win in the Australian market.
Just last month GPG named Danish renewables giant Vestas as the turbine supplier and installer for two other major wind power projects it is developing in Victoria – Ryan Corner (218MW) near Port Fairy and Berrybank Stage 2 wind farm (110MW) in the state’s west.
The renewables developer has also secured a PPA for Ryan Corner, a 15-year offtake deal with federal and NSW government-owned gen-tailer Snowy Hydro.
For Amazon, the Hawkesdale PPA marks the third investment in an Australian renewable project, following deals with the Gunnedah and Suntop solar farms in New South Wales. The latter deal was revealed in June as Australia’s biggest corporate solar PPA yet.
The previous deal, also struck between Canadian Solar and Amazon, signed the retailer up to buy 60MW of the output from the 110 MW (ac) Gunnedah solar farm in March of this year.
Combined, the three renewable energy projects in Australia are expected to generate 717,000 MWh of renewable energy annually for Amazon, the equivalent to the annual electricity demand of almost 115,000 homes.
Globally, however, the Hawkesdale deal was just one of 26 utility-scale wind and solar energy projects newly signed up by Amazon to supply a total of 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity.
These new PPAs bring Amazon’s total investment in renewable energy for 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4GW of capacity – the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year, the company claims.
All up, Amazon’s total renewable energy investments now supply 6.5GW of electricity production capacity, including from 59 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfilment and sort centres, putting it well on track to meet its dual goals of 100% renewables by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2040.
“Amazon has become the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and our latest local Hawkesdale wind project in Victoria demonstrates our commitment to investing in Australian renewable energy projects to run our business in the most environmentally friendly way,” said Adam Beavis, the managing director of the commercial sector for Amazon Web Services in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our push to use more renewable energy is one step on our path to net-zero carbon by 2040 as part of Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge,” Beavis added.
“To achieve these goals, we focus on four complementary areas: increasing energy efficiency in our facilities and equipment, continuous innovation in our data centres, advocacy at the global, federal, and state levels to create a favourable environment for renewable energy, and working with various power providers around the world to increase the availability of renewable energy.”