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Amazon signs green energy deal with Moray West wind farm

By Alan Beresford

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The Moray West wind farm is currently under construction. Picture: Boskalis
The Moray West wind farm is currently under construction. Picture: Boskalis

ONLINE retail giant Amazon has announced they are upping their stake in the new Moray West offshore wind farm.

The firm has signed a corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) with ENGIE, increasing its share of output from the wind farm to a total of 473MW when the site becomes operational later this year. This is enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 650,000 UK homes annually.

A CPPA is a lasting agreement where a company commits to procure electricity directly from an energy producer.

The 882MW wind farm is currently under construction by Ocean Wind, which is following an accelerated development and construction plan, with capacity from the site supporting Amazon’s goal of powering all operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the company’s original target.

Lindsay McQuade, Director of Energy, EMEA, Amazon Web Services (AWS), said: “Transitioning to carbon-free energy sources is one of the most impactful ways to lower carbon emissions, and is part of our Climate Pledge commitment to reach net zero carbon across our operations by 2040.

"We are on track to meet our ambitious goal of powering our global operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025, and in 2022, 90 per cent of electricity consumed by Amazon was attributable to renewable energy sources. Projects like Moray West will play a critical role in decarbonising Amazon’s operations and the UK grid, with this agreement demonstrating Amazon’s commitment to this ambition.”

Paulo Almirante, ENGIE Senior Executive Vice-President Renewables and Energy Management, commented: “Moray West reflects our strategy to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world, through investing in renewable generation technologies.

"Furthermore, the innovative character of this CPPA shows that it is possible to create, together with Amazon, the conditions to achieve the UK objectives of renewables deployment and net zero economy. This deal strengthens ENGIE’s leadership position for CPPAs, through which ENGIE has sold a substantial capacity of renewable electricity generated by its wind and solar assets.”

Bautista Rodriguez, CEO at Ocean Winds, added: “I am proud that the collective efforts of the Moray West and Ocean Winds teams, working closely with colleagues in ENGIE, helped secure this important deal with Amazon, prior to the Financial Close of the project and as part of an innovative and unprecedented route to market for an offshore wind farm.

"The programme for delivery of the power for Amazon is ambitious but the project and sponsor boards have supported us to keep the project firmly on track.”

Moray West represents continued investment by Ocean Winds to deliver its 2025 targets of 5-7 GW of projects in operation, or construction, and 5-10 GW under advanced development. The project, part of the company’s 6GW portfolio of secured offshore wind farms in the UK, is expected to inject up to £500 million in the local Scottish economy throughout its lifespan, and during construction phases it will create and support more than 1000 jobs in Scotland, with 70 long-term operational roles.

Moray West is also supporting a number of local education and training goals, including transitioning of skilled workforce from the oil and gas sector, apprenticeship and internship programmes, as well as sponsoring PhD candidates focused on environmental studies. The new and growing operational team in the coastal town of Buckie now includes technicians and trainee technicians with the team ready to take responsibility for the project assets as they are commissioned in 2024 and 2025.

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