Amazon announced that Potter and McKean counties will be home to two of its 14 newest renewable energy projects around the world.
“The new projects bring Amazon’s total renewable energy investments to date to 10 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity – enough to power 2.5 million U.S. homes, “ said a press release from Amazon.
A map on the company’s website showing the locations of its current and future solar projects indicates two planned for Pennsylvania. One project is a 30-megawatt solar farm centered around Hebron Township and the other is 90 megawatts in Ridgeway, McKean County. The map says both projects are expected to go online in 2023.
Will Hunt, Potter County GIS/Planning Director, told this newspaper that only one solar project has been approved by the county – a 150-acre solar farm on the Kenyon Farm in Hebron Township.
“Whether that is the Amazon project, I can’t really answer that,” said Hunt, adding that the Kenyon farm project was presented to the county planning commission by Walden Green Renewables. “My knowledge of projects of this capacity – solar, wind, even natural gas and oil – is that the leases do get transferred to other agencies. For example, with the wind turbine project (in Hector Township), the company that initially started it is not the company that finalized it.”
Hunt said Walden Green Renewables has not disclosed its project investor to Potter County, nor is it required to. He said work on the Kenyon Farm project, which could house up to 60,000 solar panels, could start at any time after being approved by the county planning commission in March.
The two local projects announced by Amazon will be the company’s first renewable energy ventures in Pennsylvania. Additional new projects announced for Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, as well as Canada, Spain and Finland, and will bring Amazon to 232 such projects worldwide totaling 10 gigawatts.
According to the press release, these endeavors are part of Amazon’s goal to power 100% of its activities with renewable energy by 2025. Leasing renewable energy production that goes back into local grids offsets actual energy used at Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfillment centers and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers worldwide.
“We’re driving hard to fulfill The Climate Pledge—our commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in the press release. “Our investments in wind and solar energy in the U.S. and around the world send a signal that investing in green technologies is the right thing to do for the planet and citizens—as well as for the long-term success of businesses of all sizes across all industries everywhere.”
See Amazon’s announcement at https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-becomes-largest-corporate-buyer-renewable-energy-us. See more about the company’s renewable energy projects and an interactive map at https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com.