Amazon’s first operational wind farm in Ireland has come online and is now delivering clean energy to the country’s electricity grid.
The project in County Cork is Ireland’s first-ever wind farm to be built without public subsidies and is the first of three utility-scale renewables projects invested in by Amazon. These projects will deliver clean energy to the Irish grid and support the country in meeting its 2030 renewable energy targets.
In County Cork, the wind farm project is expected to deliver 68,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy annually – reducing annual carbon emissions by 32,000 tonnes of CO2 and producing enough renewable energy to power 17,000 Irish homes per year. The 23 megawatt (MW) project will help support AWS data centers in Ireland.
In total, Amazon’s three utility-scale renewables projects in Ireland are projected to add 229 MW of renewable energy to the Irish grid each year, reducing carbon emissions by 366,000 tonnes of CO2 and producing enough renewable energy to power 185,000 Irish homes annually.
Sustainable future for Ireland
Amazon is the first company in Ireland to sign un-subsidized Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs). This means Amazon is helping to add renewable energy to the grid without direct government support, thus reducing subsidy costs on other local energy users.
In 2020, Amazon became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, having invested in 6,500 MW of renewable power. These projects supply renewable energy for fulfillment centers and AWS data centers that support millions of customers globally.
“Amazon has been investing and growing in Ireland for over 15 years,” said Mike Beary, AWS Ireland Country Manager. “We are building a digital economy for the future that is robust and sustainable.”
“Our wind farm in Esk is not only an important step in our journey toward powering our operations with 100% renewable energy, but also in Ireland’s journey to meeting its 2030 renewables targets,” said Kenneth Matthews, Head of Energy, EMEA, Amazon Web Services.
“With these three projects, we will be the largest single corporate buyer of renewable energy in the country, and we won’t stop here. You can expect to see us announce more renewables projects in future.”
Other innovative projects AWS is investing in to support Ireland in meeting its 2030 renewable energy targets include the country’s first, custom-built sustainable solution to provide low-carbon heat to Irish homes and businesses. The new District Heating Scheme will provide heat recycled from an AWS data centre to public sector, residential, and commercial residents in Tallaght, South Dublin.
The project will begin supplying heat within the next 12 months. Initial customers will be South Dublin County Council and the nearby Tallaght campus of the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin). The council buildings heated by this project in the short term will include South Dublin County Hall, Tallaght County Library, arts hub RUA RED and the Civic Theater.
Supplying clean energy across Europe
Amazon’s wind farm in County Cork is the company's third utility-scale renewable energy project to come online outside of the United States.
In September 2020, the company announced its 91 MW wind farm project in Bäckhammar, Sweden had begun to supply energy to the grid, followed by the 149 MW Cabrera solar project in Seville, Spain, which will provide enough energy to power 30,000 Spanish homes.
All of these initiatives are designed to supply clean energy to the electricity grids that serve AWS data centers and other Amazon facilities, and to help Amazon meet its Climate Pledge commitments.
The Climate Pledge
Amazon is the co-founder of and the first signatory to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2040. Pledge signatories work together on initiatives to preserve the natural world and invest in de-carbonizing technologies.
Amazon is on a path to powering operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of its initial 2030 target, as part of its goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040 and help ensure a healthy planet for future generations.
Amazon has enabled over 127 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate over 6,500 MW and deliver approximately 18 million MWh of energy annually.
Read more about The Climate Pledge.
Find out what it takes to construct a large-scale renewable energy project: How do you build a wind farm?