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AWS rolls out clean energy initiative in Singapore

62MW solar project expected to generate 80,000MWh of clean energy a year, enough to power more than 10,000 homes

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is embarking on a renewable energy project in Singapore to tap solar energy for its Singapore operations and contribute clean energy to the country’s power grid.

The 62MW solar project will comprise solar panels mounted on a ground system which can be optimally positioned to capture sun exposure as weather conditions change.

When ready next year, the project will be among the largest aggregated movable solar energy systems designed and installed in Singapore. It is expected to generate 80,000MWh of clean energy a year, enough to power more than 10,000 homes in Singapore.

Besides generating net-new renewable energy for Singapore’s national electricity pool, the project will also supply renewable energy for Amazon offices, fulfilment centres and AWS datacentres.

The Singapore project is AWS’s fifth in the region. Since 2019, it has announced three wind and solar projects in Australia and one solar project in China. Together, these projects contribute about 411MW of installed capacity and will supply more than 900,000MWh of additional renewable energy to local electricity grids.

AWS said its latest clean energy initiative supports the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a 10-year blueprint with a whole-of-nation sustainable development agenda. It will also help Amazon to meet its goal of powering its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030, which it expects to meet by 2025, five years early.

The cloud supplier is working with Singapore’s Sunseap Group on the project. The solar energy provider will install the solar systems on an estimated 40 hectares of temporary vacant land across Singapore.

In 2020, Sunseap was awarded one of the two contracts under JTC’s SolarLand phase-three tender, as part of efforts to make industrial estates more environmentally friendly.

Read more about green IT in APAC

“Amazon has set a pace in sustainability that we believe many MNCs [multinational corporations] should follow,” said Lawrence Wu, co-founder and president of Sunseap Group. “We are proud to partner JTC on SolarLand phase three which allows us to contribute to JTC’s efforts to solarise temporary vacant industrial land across Singapore.”

Although shifting to cleaner sources of energy is important to lowering carbon emissions, reducing wasted energy use will also play a critical role, according to IDC.

“Cloud datacentres are doing this through optimising the physical environment and reducing the amount of energy spent to cool the datacentre environment,” it said. “The goal of an efficient datacentre is to have more energy spent on running the IT equipment than cooling the environment where the equipment resides.

“Another capability of cloud computing that can be used to lower CO2 emissions is the ability to shift workloads to any location around the globe. Developed to deliver IT service wherever it is needed, this capability also enables workloads to be shifted to enable greater use of renewable resources, such as wind and solar power.”

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