Amazon to buy solar energy for its cloud


A week after Amazon’s cloud customers asked the company to use more clean energy to power its data centers, Amazon announced on Wednesday that it will be buying energy from a solar farm that will be built in Virginia.

The solar project will be called “Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East, ” and, when built next year, will produce 80 megawatts worth of energy. A large data center could consume anywhere between 40 and 100 megawatts.

Virginia is a pretty unusual place for a solar farm — only 15 megawatts of solar panels are currently installed in the state, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. For comparison, California has over 10 gigawatts of solar (1,000 megawatts equal a gigawatt).

But Virginia is where Amazon has many of its data centers. It’s estimated that the Northern part of Virginia is home to over half of the servers that Amazon uses…

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