AWS spins up first wind farm

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AWS spins up first wind farm
AWS Fowler Ridge wind turbine. Source: Amazon.

Enough to power 46,000 American homes.

Amazon Web Services has made its first wind farm electricity generation plant operational, as part of its goal to power all its facilities with renewable energy.

The Fowler Ridge wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, is rated at 150 megawatts, and was first announced last year. It started production on New Year's Day this year, using 65 large turbines.

With an annual power production capability of 500,000 megawatt hours, AWS said Fowler Ridge generates the equivalent amount of electricity as used by 46,000 US homes annually. AWS said on its first day of operation, Fowler Ridge generated more than 1.1 million kilowatt-hours of power.

Fowler Ridge is the first of three wind power farms planned by AWS. The cloud giant is building a 208 megawatt facility in North Carolina on the US Eastern Seaboard, expected to be ready by December this year.

For its US central region, AWS is working on a 100 megawatt wind farm near Paulding County, in the state of Ohio, set to become operational by May 2017.

AWS is also building a solar panel facility that can produce 80 megawatts in Virginia, to go online by October 2016. 

The company has, along with other large data centre and cloud services operators, been criticised for paying lip service to renewable energy generation goals. AWS said its intention was to have its global infrastructure powered by 40 percent renewable energy generation.

It did not say when it expects to reach its long-term 100 percent renewable energy goal, or how it would achieve that in countries such as Australia which generates most of its energy through burning coal.

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