Over the past few years, Amazon Web Services has received a tremendous amount of criticism from environmental groups such as Greenpeace over the methods Amazon uses to provide power to its data centers.
In fact, in an article titled, “Greenpeace Lambasts AWS on Cloud Data Center Energy (Again),” our CloudWedge staff reported on Greenpeace’s most recent concerns with AWS’s data center footprint.
In all fairness, AWS responded quickly to Greenpeace’s claims, pointing to its website dedicated to breaking down Amazon’s long term goal of using 100% renewable energy resources.
Further expounding upon that goal, Amazon seems to be putting the money where its mouth is, as Amazon has just announced that they will be building an 80 MW solar farm in Virginia that is expected to help power its data center operations within this region.
Linda Hardesty from Energy Manager Today writes, “The new solar farm is expected to start generating about 170,000 MWh annually as early as October 2016.” Hardesty goes on to explain that the new solar farm will also be used to power future data centers within the region as well.
Amazon claims that it’s US Solar Farm East will be the largest solar farm in the state of Virginia. It is unclear if Amazon has any other solar farms on its radar at the time of this writing. With so much fuss about Amazon’s data centers consuming energy from non-renewable resources, the step to build out a solar farm in Virginia certainly seems like a step in the right direction.
A bigger question still looms; Will Amazon’s efforts to power its data centers with solar be enough to calm the criticisms of advocacy groups such as Greenpeace? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.