Sustainable Energy

Amazon goes big on solar, set to install panels at UK fulfilment centers 

Key Points
  • Panels will cut Amazon's carbon footprint by 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Tech giant also signs deal for 100 percent renewable electricity to power its U.K. buildings. 
 Parcels are processed and prepared for dispatch at Amazon's fulfillment center in Peterborough, England. 
Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Tech giant Amazon is set to install solar panels at its fulfillment centers across the U.K.

The panels will have an installed capacity of 20 megawatts (MW), the firm said in an announcement Tuesday.

Amazon said it expected the panels to "generate the equivalent amount of electricity required to power over 4,500 U.K. homes." Additionally, they will cut the company's carbon footprint by 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Amazon said it planned to initially deploy large scale rooftop solar systems at 10 of its U.K. fulfillment centers. This will take place over the next 18 months and is subject to planning and landlord approval.

"As our fulfillment network continues to expand, we want to help generate more renewable energy at both existing and new facilities around the world in partnership with community and business leaders," Stefano Perego, Amazon U.K.'s operations director, said in a statement.

"We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability, which is good for the environment, our business, our customers, and the communities in which we operate," Perego added. "By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers."

Amazon said it had also signed a deal that will mean its U.K. buildings are powered by 100 percent renewable electricity.

This electricity will be backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates, which means that the energy bought for fulfillment centers and other buildings will have come from sources such as wind and solar.

Globally, Amazon is looking to green its operations in several ways. In October 2017, for example, the company announced that its Amazon Wind Farm Texas was operational. At the time Amazon said that the facility, located in Scurry County, would add over 1 million megawatt hours of clean energy to the grid each year.