Amazon to Mount Solar Panels on 50 Facilities by 2020

The company will kick off the endeavor by peppering the rooftops of more than 15 U.S. locations in 2017.
Amazon Fulfillment Center in Patterson, Calif.
Amazon Fulfillment Center in Patterson, Calif.

Seattle—Amazon has just laid out a bright new goal for itself. The e-commerce giant announced the launch of a clean energy initiative that calls for the installation of solar panels on 50 fulfillment and sortation centers around the world by 2020. The Seattle-based company will kick off the endeavor by peppering the rooftops of more than 15 U.S. facilities in 2017.

“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,” Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations with Amazon, said in a prepared statement. The initial stage of the solar installation program will cover—literally—properties in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware, allowing for the production of up to 41 megawatts of power at the facilities. Contingent upon such factors as the particular property and time of year among them, the installations could provide as much as 80 percent of a center’s annual energy demands.

“We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability—this is good for the environment, our business and our customers,” Clark added. “By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win.” Amazon is moving fast with its new solar installation program. However, the company still has quite a way to go to catch up with such leaders as Prologis, Walmart and Target, the latter of which tops the list of large corporations’ solar adoption at U.S. facilities, according to a 2016 report by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Amazon is hardly new to the alternative energy scene. The company’s fulfillment center in Patterson, Calif., for example, boasts an installation that covers more than 75 percent of the 1.1 million-square-foot facility’s rooftop. Presently the online retailer has projects in the planning or construction phase that will ultimately generate a total of 2.3 MW of renewable energy. On the wind front, in September 2016, Amazon announced plans to build Amazon Wind Farm Texas, a 253 MW wind farm that will generate 1 million MW hours of wind energy from its Scurry County, Texas, site. And last November, news emerged of the company’s decision to develop a 180 MW wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio, that will produce a yearly 530,000 MW hours of wind energy.

Image courtesy of Amazon