Amazon.com has become the latest big company to turn to Texas serve their green energy needs. They recently announced they will be building a huge wind farm in the state – their largest renewable energy project to date. The 253 megawatt wind farm will be located in the West Texas county of Scurry. Amazon has committed to buying 90% of the facilities output of electricity. It will be capable of producing up to 1 million megawatt hours of electricity per year when it goes on line late next year.
Amazon’s Web Service cloud data centers (AWS) are large consumers of electricity. Amazon has committed to a goal of 100% renewable energy. The new wind farm in Texas will bring the company’s renewable energy portfolio up to 2.6 million MWh annually. Amazon estimates that 40% of its AWS infrastructure will be powered by renewable energy by the end of the year.
Amazon is far from the only large company to go big on Texas electricity. Johnson & Johnson recently agreed to purchase half of the output of a 200 megawatt wind project being developed by EON SE in the Texas panhandle. In 2013 Microsoft signed a 20 year deal to purchase all of the output of a 110 megawatt wind farm near Fort Worth developed by RES America. Texas is also home to the largest federally owned wind farm which was built in 2014 to power the Pantex nuclear weapons facility.
Texas has paved the way for these large projects by investing billions of dollars in infrastructure to support what is by far the country’s largest installed wind capacity. Texas has an independent electric grid and is the largest deregulated electricity market in the country.