Amazon has taken the initiative to install solar panels on 50 fulfillment facility rooftops worldwide by 2020. The company plans to deploy large-scale solar systems on rooftops of more than 15 fulfillment and sortation centres in the US this year and is planning to deploy solar systems on 50 fulfillment and sortation centers globally by 2020.
The initial solar projects planned for completion by the end of 2017 will generate up to 41 megawatts (MW) of power at Amazon facilities in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware. Depending on the specific project, time of year and other factors, a solar installation could generate as much as 80 per cent of a single fulfillment facility’s annual energy needs.
“As our fulfillment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders,” said Dave Clark, senior vice president of Worldwide Operations. “We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability—this is good for the environment, our business and our customers. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It is a win-win,” added Clark.
Amazon’s recent renewable energy projects include the company’s largest wind farm to date, located in Texas. In addition, a network of wind and solar farms in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia are delivering energy onto the electric grid that powers AWS data centres. To date, Amazon has announced or commenced construction on projects which will generate a total of 3.6 million MW of renewable energy. Amazon was the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the US in 2016, according to the 2017 State of Green Business report.
Additionally, Amazon has expanded its innovative career choice programme to include funding for associates to earn North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.
“The NABCEP professional accreditation is a spring board for fulfillment center associates to enter a rapidly growing and in-demand workforce outside of Amazon as PV installers,” said Kara Hurst, Director of Amazon’s Worldwide Sustainability. “It would be great one day soon to see former associates developing solar systems on the rooftops of our fulfillment centers.”