On March 2, the Seattle-based online retailer Amazon announced a new initiative to generate solar electricity from the roofs of its fulfillment and sorting facilities across the globe.
By the end of this year, the company expects that it will generate 41 megawatts of power from sites in North America and it hopes to install at least 50 solar systems around the world by 2020. In its announcement, the company touted a massive installation that is already operating on top of its fulfillment center in Patterson, California. The next round of projects will be installed in New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada, and Delaware.
Amazon says that it wants to generate more renewable energy because it is both good for the environment and for the company’s bottom line. It says a diverse portfolio of energy sources will keep costs down for consumers. A solar installation on top of a facility, in particular, could be able to generate as much as 80% of that facility’s annual energy needs. Amazon has also already tapped into a network of wind and solar farms in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, which made Amazon the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in 2016. The company also provides money for its employees to get trained in installing solar systems.
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