Leading an ongoing supply chain revolution, Amazon’s most recent effort focuses in an unlikely area—rooftops.
The e-commerce giant announced last week a new initiative to generate clean energy by installing solar panels on its fulfillment facilities around the world. The company plans to deploy large-scale solar systems on rooftops of more than 15 fulfillment and sortation centers in the U.S. this year and an additional 50 solar systems on fulfillment and sortation centers globally by 2020.
“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,” says 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’s a win-win.”
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, the solar installation could generate as much as 80 percent of a single fulfillment facility’s annual energy needs.
For example, solar panels installed on the rooftop of the Patterson, California, fulfillment center cover more than three-quarters of the 1.1-million-square-foot building’s rooftop and will capture California’s most generous resource to power the hundreds of Amazon Robotics utilized by associates at ground-level.
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 centers. To date, Amazon has announced or commenced construction on projects that will generate 3.6 million MW of renewable energy. Amazon was the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2016, according to the 2017 State of Green Business report. Other examples of Amazon’s sustainability-focused projects include green corporate rooftops and the District Energy Project, which uses recycled energy for heating the company’s corporate headquarters in Seattle.
To learn more about Amazon’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.amazon.com/sustainability.