Amazon confirms new Galway windfarm to double its renewable output

24 Aug 2020747 Views

Image: © Nigel/Stock.adobe.com

Amazon will build a new windfarm that will double the company’s renewable energy capacity in Ireland when it opens in 2022.

The town of Ardderroo in Co Galway will be home to a new windfarm project from Amazon, as the company works towards its aim of being powered by 100pc renewable energy by 2025. With up to 27 wind turbines, the site will have a capacity of 115MW and will begin operations in 2022 to power Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres across Ireland.

This will double Amazon’s planned renewable capability in Ireland. Once the Galway windfarm is operational, Amazon will have three Irish wind turbine sites with a total capacity of 229MW, which are projected to reduce carbon emissions for its data centres by 366,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Last year, the company announced it would build a windfarm with a capacity of 23MW just outside Esk in Co Cork, which will be switched on later this year. A further site at Meenbog, Co Donegal, will begin operations in early 2022. Amazon expects to be the largest single corporate buyer of renewable energy in the country once all three projects are operational.

Relying on rainwater cooling

Plans are also in place to make the design of AWS data centres more environmentally friendly, including the redesign of roofs to allow for rainwater harvesting to offset the water used from local supplies to cool these centres.

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Speaking with The Irish Times, AWS’s head of energy services for EMEA, Kenneth Matthews, said: “Our buildings in Ireland would use the equivalent amount of water annually as eight Irish homes.

“Our goal is to significantly reduce our reliance on water supply, with the goal to have little or no water coming from the Irish grid.”

Amazon claimed that the three windfarms will help Irish energy consumers avoid approximately €229m in public service obligation subsidy costs on their energy bills.

Amazon is continuing to expand its Irish presence. The company announced in July that it plans to grow its workforce in Ireland to 5,000 people over the next two years with the opening of a new Dublin campus.

Around 1,000 jobs are set to be created across its Dublin and Cork locations and will include roles for data centre technicians, mechanical and electrical engineers, solutions architects, security specialists, big data specialists, technical and non-technical programme managers, and account managers.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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