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Amazon Invests In Indiana Wind Farm

Fowler Ridge Wind Farm

Amazon's cloud computing services company is partnering with Pattern Energy Group to construct the fourth phase of a wind farm in Indiana.



The project is part of the existing Fowler Ridge wind farm north of Lafayette.



Amazon Web Services has a goal of eventually creating enough renewable energy to power all of its operations.



Tech Crunch explains the Fowler Ridge project is expected to produce about 500,000 megawatt hours of energy annually as early as 2016.

That's enough to power about 46,000 U.S. homes, but the "Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge)" - that's the full name of what was previously called the "Fowler Ridge IV Wind Project" - will only be used to power Amazon's AWS data centers. Amazon is not disclosing the financial details of this project, but Pattern Energy notes that this is a 13-year agreement.


Amazon Web Services officials say the plan is in addition to three other "carbon-neutral regions" it already has in Oregon, the European Union and through its U.S. government project AWS GovCloud.

"Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) will bring a new source of clean energy to the electric grid where we currently operate a large number of datacenters and have ongoing expansion plans to support our growing customer base," Jerry Hunter, Vice President of Infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, said in a statement.



Breaking Energy reports that environmental groups are praising Amazon's efforts.





"The key is additionality," Greenpeace senior energy campaigner David Pomerantz said in an interview. Companies sometimes paper over their carbon footprint by purchasing unbundled renewable energy credits, which don't have the same ability to bring new green energy onto the grid. "In those situations, they could be buying wind power from a 15-year-old wind farm in Texas," Pomerantz said. "The PPA is definitely a much more high-impact way to buy renewables."



Last April, AWS was scorched in a Greenpeace report on major company efforts to provide energy-intensive Internet-related services with minimal carbon emissions. It received "F" grades in three of four categories – Transparency; Renewable Energy Commitment & Infrastructure Siting; and Renewable Energy Use & Advocacy. Its other grade, in Energy Efficiency & Mitigation Strategy, wasn't much better: D.





The report was published before Amazon announced its carbon neutral goal in November.



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