Technology pioneer Amazon is showing peers in the sector the way towards using renewable power for their operations thanks to a new project featuring over 300,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Located in Garrett County, Maryland, this massive solar generation and storage facility is currently rising on what used to be a coal mine that supplied the region for the better part of 120 years.
Slated to open in late 2024, this ambitious brownfield solar facility will be used to supply clean electrical power for Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, fulfillment centers, Amazon’s in-person retail hubs, as well as those residing within the surrounding community.
A Boon for the Community
The presence of the solar facility is also seen as a harbinger of economic improvement to the state as it stands to generate up to 200 employment opportunities for the local population.
According to representatives from Competitive Power Ventures (CPV,) Amazon’s project partner which is slated to invest $200 million in it, the initiative will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the area by around 133,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
Sean Finnerty, CPV’s executive vice-president for renewable energy, also pointed out that the project will maximize the use of land which, under normal circumstances, would be written off as an unusable loss.
One of Many
While Amazon’s Garrett County brownfield is set to become the largest solar farm in the state of Maryland, it is far from the company’s only foray into renewable energy. Indeed, the facility is just one of nearly 80 solar and wind facilities that Amazon has invested in for this year alone.
This particular site was selected as, given its previous use, it is already connected to a number of power substations and also has access to power interconnection. This has made it so much easier as one of the primary challenges for those embarking on clean power projects is needing to build related infrastructure from the ground up.