Amazon buys 50% of Dutch offshore wind farm, marking its largest single renewable project

Deal will quicken Amazon's pledge to operate on 100% renewables by 2025

Vattenfall wind turbines on the wind power plant are are seen near Esbjerg, Denmark on 27 July 2019  (Photo by Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Amazon will buy half of the energy produced by a huge offshore windfarm in the Netherlands to power its European operations, as the global tech giant looks to grow its renewables portfolio.

The Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project is the company's largest single-site renewable energy project. The Seattle-based firm will buy its electricity from the Crosswind Consortium, which is operated by oil major Shell and Dutch firm Eneco. The project, which has an overall capacity of 759 megawatt is set for completion in 2024.

The deal will quicken Amazon's pledge to operate on 100 per cent renewables by 2025, five years earlier than the previous goal of reaching that target by 2030.

Amazon is making significant strides in clean energy and in December announced plans to add 26 utility-scale wind and solar energy projects with a collective capacity of 3.4 Gigawatts.

By the end of 2020, the company had 35 projects with 4GW of capacity in its portfolio. Amazon has invested in 6.5GW of wind and solar power plants that will supply clean energy to its corporate offices, fulfilment centres as well as to data centres operated by Amazon Web Services.

Amazon's investments in clean energy are in line with commitments made by other tech giants such as Facebook, which plans to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

US corporates have taken a strong stance on climate change, in the absence of policy directives by the previous administration of Donald Trump, which pulled the country out the Paris Agreement.

The companies made moves towards sustainability in the absence of government-led efforts to nudge corporates towards renewables.

US President Joe Biden is encouraging of such efforts, and plans to push for $2 trillion-worth of clean energy investments.

Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell has made its own commitments to energy transition by writing off $22 billion-worth of hydrocarbon assets and pledging net zero by 2050.

Its agreement with Amazon contributes to the company's pledge and progresses its momentum towards becoming "a net-zero emissions business by 2050 or sooner", said Elisabeth Brinton, executive vice president of new energies at Shell.