Sep. 21—Amazon is planning a pair of solar farms in Louisiana as part of the online giant's efforts to be entirely dependent on renewable energy by 2025.
The company announced Wednesday it would open a solar farm in St. Landry Parish by 2024, capable of generating 100 megawatts of power, enough energy to power 20,000 homes and businesses. A 200 megawatt solar farm in Morehouse Parish is set to open by 2023.
Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said in a statement the solar and wind projects will help power the company's offices, fulfillment centers, data centers and stores.
"Around the world, countries are looking to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, and continued investments like ours can help accelerate their journey as we all work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change," Selipsky said.
Bill Rodier, executive director of St. Landry Parish Economic Development, said two other companies are looking at building solar farms of more than 1,000 acres in the parish, but Amazon isn't affiliated with either one of them as best as he could tell.
One of the businesses that is well into doing due diligence about a St. Landry solar project is NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power & Light, the largest electric utility company in the U.S. FP&L has more than 5.6 million customer and business accounts in Florida. Rodier said parish officials are negotiating tax deferment agreements for the solar project with the utility company.
NextEra said in a statement it is in the early stages of evaluating a potential St. Landry solar project "and it is premature to discuss potential customers".
The two Louisiana solar farms were among the 71 renewable energy projects worldwide Amazon announced Wednesday. Other projects include the company's first solar farms in India, Brazil and Poland.
The company now has 379 renewable projects in 21 countries. Once the new facilities are open, Amazon's global renewable portfolio will generate enough energy to power 4.6 million U.S. homes for a year.
Currently, renewables power 85% of Amazon's business.
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