Half the output from North Sea wind farm sold to Amazon

Get a free Techzine subscription!

Shell and the Dutch electricity supplier Eneco have announced that half of the power generated by a future wind farm in the North Sea will be used to provide green electricity to an Amazon server.

The two energy companies are building an offshore wind farm in the North Sea called Hollands Kust Noord. Half of the power generated by the farm is sold in the form of certificates to Amazon, which has server farms elsewhere in Europe. In practice, the extra power from the wind turbines becomes part of the European energy network.

Biggest green electricity deal

According to the Financieel Dagblad, it is the largest green power deal that Amazon has done so far. The company has committed to using only green electricity for all its data centres and logistics centres worldwide by 2025. Apparently, this does not have to mean supplying green power directly to the data centres; it can also mean paying to produce the amount of energy consumed by the data centres elsewhere.

Half a million households

In concrete terms, Amazon will purchase 380 megawatts of the 759 megawatts that the new wind farm will generate. This is comparable to the consumption of half a million households. The Hollandse Kust Noord wind farm should produce its first electricity in 2023 and is being built by Shell and Eneco without any subsidies. However, the cabling to the wind turbines is still subsidised and carried out by the Dutch state-run company Tennet.

Tech giants investing heavily in energy-efficient data centres

Amazon is not the only company that uses Dutch wind energy to green its server farms. Recently, Microsoft made a deal with Vattenfall to supply its data centre in the Wieringermeer with power from the Prinses Ariane Wind Farm. The company is also launching a ‘sustainable’ data centre in Sweden, and Google is also boasting about its power-efficiënt data centres.

Tip: Google to build largest Belgian data center