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United States

First North Carolina project to power Amazon WS

UNITED STATES: The cloud-computing arm of Amazon.com has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a 208MW project, the first in south east US.

Gamesa will supply its G114-2MW turbine to the project
Gamesa will supply its G114-2MW turbine to the project

Owned by Iberdrola, the 208MW project will now be called Amazon Wind Farm US East. Construction started this week. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will buy the electricity from the 208MW first phase of an Iberdrola Renewables project, formerly know as Desert Wind.

Gamesa G114-2MW turbines will power the project, on North Carolina's coastal plain. The turbines have 93-metre towers and 55.5-metre blades, designed for lower winds.

The land is agricultural, and the winds are slower but steady, said an Iberdrola spokesman.

"This project is a great example of how wind technology advances can open up areas like the southeast," said Southeastern Wind Coalition, president Brian O'Hara. Winds on the region's coastal plain predominate in the afternoon, when electricity demand rises, he added.

The project started construction on 14 July, with a breaking-ground ceremony attended by state Governor Pat McCrory.

"This agreement, and those previously in place, puts AWS on track to surpass our goal of 40% renewable energy globally by the end of 2016," said AWS vice president of infrastructure Jerry Hunter.

AWS has previously agreed to buy wind power from Pattern Energy Group's 150MW Amazon project in Indiana.

Several other wind projects are in earlier stages of development in the south east, O'Hara added.

"The Amazon Wind Farm project will provide an opportunity for the southeast to gain experience with a large utility scale project and will pave the way for additional properly sited projects in the region," said Jen Banks, vice presient of operations at Southeastern Wind Coalition.

In addition, local utilities Georgia Power, Alabama Power and the Tennessee Valley Authority are to import wind power from outside the region, and a Southern Co subsidiary is buying a wind project outside the region.

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