Amazon’s COP26 answer is blowing in the Scottish wind

Amazon’s COP26 answer is blowing in the Scottish wind

29 October 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Amazon has started up its first Scottish windfarm, just 60km from Glasgow, where the global COP26 climate conference starts this weekend.

Amazon says the windfarm, on the Kintyre peninsula, is one of the largest unsubsidised onshore wind projects in the UK, and says it is now delivering clean energy to the grid.

The company is purchasing 100% of the power output from this new 50MW windfarm, which is expected to deliver 168,000MWh of clean energy annually.

Kenneth Matthews, head of energy for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Amazon Web Services, said: “We are excited that our first Scottish windfarm is now operational. This is the first of four large-scale projects that Amazon has committed to in the UK so far, each of which contribute toward our aim to power operations with 100% renewable energy.”

The four UK projects will provide a total capacity of 529MW of clean energy, said the company.

Matthews said: “Amazon’s commitment to buy the power generated from these projects enables the developer to finance and build them. It sends a clear message that a project of this size can be delivered without public subsidies.”

Amazon said that it is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe, with announced investments to supply over 2.7GW of new electricity production capacity. Once complete, these projects will produce more than 8.4MWh of renewable energy annually.

The energy generated from these projects will power Amazon and AWS data centres, corporate offices, and fulfilment centres across the UK. Amazon added that it is the largest corporate renewable energy buyer in the world. “To date, we have announced 2.7GW of projects in Europe, including solar and wind projects in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and the UK.”

It added: “Globally, Amazon has now enabled 234 renewable energy projects, including 87 utility-scale wind and solar projects that have the capacity to generate over 10GW and deliver more than 27 million MWh of energy annually.”

The Kintyre peninsula, home of the new windfarm, runs southwards from the Scottish mainland into the Irish sea. It was the subject of the 1977 Mull of Kintyre song by Paul McCartney’s Wings.