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Amazon to power cloud unit with giant wind farm

Amazon's cloud-computing division is setting its sights on North Carolina as the site for its largest wind farm project yet, to help power its data centers.

Amazon Wind Farm US East, to be designed and built with Iberdrola Renewables, will help Amazon Web Services (AWS) reach its goal, announced in November 2014, to run its global infrastructure on 100 percent renewable energy.

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The wind farm is set to be based in North Carolina's Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, and hopes to generate 670,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy a year; making it the company's biggest project in renewable energy so far.

This may be the biggest project, but it's not AWS' first. In January, the company teamed up with Pattern Energy to support the construction of a wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, that aims to generate 500,000 MWh annually.

Their overall aim to run completely on renewable energy has already hit one landmark. In April, AWS announced that 25 percent of power consumed by the company worldwide was done on renewable energy.

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Jerry Hunter, Vice President of Infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, said in a statement that Wind Farm US East will bringing the company a step further to surpassing their 40 percent renewable goal by the end of 2016.

"We're far from being done. We'll continue pursuing projects that deliver clean energy to the various energy grids that serve AWS data centers, we'll continue working with our power providers to increase their renewable energy quotient, and we'll continue to strongly encourage our partners in government to extend the tax incentives that make it more viable for renewable projects to get off the ground."

Other tech giants too have also embarked on their own renewable energy projects. In February, Apple announced its plans to spend 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) on building and operating two data centers in Europe that would be solely powered on renewable energy.

Google too stated in June that they would convert a coal-fired power plant in Alabama into a data center, which would incorporate "state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies."

AWS hope to complete this wind farm and have it running by December 2016 and will be North Carolina's "first utility-scale wind farm."

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