Amazon announces investment in two more solar farms in Halifax County
E-tailer will now have three projects in county
Part of a global renewable energy purchase, Amazon.com Inc. announced Thursday it will invest in two more Halifax County solar farms, in addition to a deal announced in March that is expected to come online in 2021.
The two new solar farms, which are expected to provide 70 megawatts and 51 megawatts of power by 2022, according to an Amazon map, are located in Powell’s Creek, in the southern part of the county, and Sunnybrook, northeast of South Boston. The projects will be the 13th and 14th Amazon solar farms in Virginia; others under development and in operation are in Accomack, Buckingham, Frederick, Gloucester, New Kent, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince George, Southampton and Sussex counties.
Halifax County supervisors approved the Sunnybrook and Powell’s Creek projects in April 2018. Both projects were submitted by developer Carolina Solar Energy, a Durham, North Carolina-based solar company. Amazon invested in a 65-megawatt solar project in South Boston in March, with the global online retailer saying the project will provide renewable energy capacity to the grids that supply its data centers.
Amazon announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects around the world, including Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. on Thursday, expanding its 2020 renewable energy investment to 35 projects offering more than 4 gigawatts of capacity. The company says it’s the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year.
Amazon has pledged to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025 and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The company currently holds a total of 127 renewable energy projects worldwide.
“Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power our businesses with renewable energy,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This is just one of the many steps we’re taking that will help us meet our climate pledge. I couldn’t be more proud of all the teams across Amazon that continue to work hard, smart and fast to get these projects up and running.”
Amazon’s footprint in Virginia has expanded significantly in the past two years, with the 2018 announcement that it would establish its East Coast headquarters in Arlington County. Amazon HQ2 is expected to employ 25,000 people by 2030. Currently, the e-tailer is one of the top 10 employers in Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and it employs about 18,500 people across the commonwealth, where it has 10 fulfillment and sortation center and delivery stations, as well as data centers and operations facilities in the works in Hampton Roads.