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Amazon unveils solar and wind projects in the wake of Bezos' Climate Pledge

The projects are Amazon's first new deals since revealing new ambitious climate goals.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiling the Climate Pledge in Washington, DC, last month.

Eric Baradat / AFP/Getty Images

Amazon on Wednesday unveiled three new renewable energy projects in the US and UK, its first new set of green developments since CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled his ambitious Climate Pledge last month.

In the US, Amazon will have solar farms in Warren County, North Carolina, and Price George County, Virginia, with the farms totaling 215 megawatts of power. A wind farm in Scotland will provide 50 MW. All three projects are expected to come online in 2021. Amazon has also launched a new sustainability site to allow the public to track its progress in reducing its carbon footprint.

These projects are a continuation of Amazon's years of work to build up wind and solar energy to power its operations and Amazon Web Services cloud-computing division. The announcement also comes just weeks after Bezos unveiled his company's Climate Pledge, with a commitment to make Amazon carbon neutral by 2040, so these new projects may be a sign the company will be ramping up these kinds of deals in the near future.

However, this work hasn't been seen as ambitious enough by an internal group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. These hundreds of Amazon workers are pushing the company to cut off its work with oil and gas companies -- something Bezos said he won't do -- and cut carbon emissions to zero by 2030, notably without using carbon offsets to reach that goal.

To date, Amazon has launched 18 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 1,600 MW. The e-commerce giant also built 50 solar rooftops on its warehouses around the world, generating 98 MW. Earlier this year, Amazon announced a program called Shipment Zero, with a plan to make 50% of all Amazon shipments carbon neutral by 2030, likely by offsetting fossil fuel use with other sustainability efforts.

To reach the carbon-neutral goal, Bezos last month announced a new $100 million reforestation plan and a new order for 100,000 electric delivery vans to move away from diesel vehicles. Amazon also pledged to power its global infrastructure with 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030 -- up from the 40% renewable energy it uses today.