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Amazon-backed wind farm in Scotland begins operations

Amazon-backed wind farm in Scotland begins operations

November 01, 2021: -A 50-megawatt onshore wind farm in Scotland is operational, and tech giant Amazon will buy all of its output.

According to ScottishPower, the Iberdrola Group, the Beinn a Tuirc 3 facility has 14 turbines, and it can produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of almost 46,000 homes.

On Thursday, in a statement issued, ScottishPower said Amazon would purchase “100% of the power output from this wind farm, and the energy generated will power Amazon and Amazon Web Services data centers, corporate offices, and fulfillment centers across the UK.”

The arrangement is a power purchase agreement or PPA. In simple terms, a PPA refers to a deal where the energy producer sells power to a business at a fixed price over a set period.

ScottishPower said Beinn a Tuirc 3, located on the Kintyre peninsular in western Scotland, had been constructed without wanting a government support scheme. PPAs, the company said, provided corporate customers with “certainty” and a “reduction in their carbon footprint.”

Amazon’s total carbon footprint reached 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020, a year-by-year increase of 19%.

The company’s Scope 1 emissions, which are emissions from its direct operations, increased to 9.62 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, a year-on-year growth of 67%.

The company’s carbon intensity for 2020, grams of CO2 equivalent per dollar of gross merchandise sales, saw a year-over-year drop of 16%, however.

The last few years have seen several significant firms strike PPAs to buy renewable energy. In September, Norway’s Statkraft said a long-term purchasing agreement related to a floating offshore wind farm dubbed “the world’s largest” had begun.

The power purchase agreement between Statkraft and developer Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd sees the former buy “all electrical output from the floating wind project with a guaranteed minimum price per MWh [megawatt hour] until 2029.”

In July 2020, Danish energy business Orsted and semiconductor company TSMC signed a 20-year deal to see TSMC purchase all the output from a 920 MW offshore wind farm off Taiwan.

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