Amazon has signed a long-term corporate power purchase agreement (corporate PPA) with Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), marking Amazon’s first use of renewable energy in Japan. This corporate PPA has been facilitated by MC Retail Energy Co., Ltd., under which it will provide electricity to Amazon subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS), Inc.’s data centres.

West Holdings Corporation will develop and manage approximately 450 solar power stations for Amazon, with a total installed capacity of approximately 22 MW. It will supply the online retailer with wholesale electricity under the terms of the agreement which will last for 10 years. Mitsubishi Corporation Energy Solutions Ltd. and Electro Route, both subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Corporation, will be involved with the former overseeing the solar power plant’s construction, and the latter forecasting the plant’s outputs and mitigating power generating imbalances.  The commercial operations are set to begin in April 2023.

By 2030, MC wants to quadruple its renewable energy output from 2019 and eliminate fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions from its power generation portfolio entirely by 2050. Amazon is making a similar effort to reduce carbon emissions. By 2025, the corporation has set a goal of using only renewable energies, and it is presently taking global steps to both generate and source more green electricity. In July 2021, TotalEnergies announced that it will supply renewable energy to Amazon through power purchase agreements (PPAs) across the United States and Europe, while the internet retail giant will assist TotalEnergies in prolonging its digital transformation as part of strategic collaboration. The PPAs were for electricity generated by 474MW of renewable energy projects.

Further, in December 2020, Amazon stated that it has become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy after signing agreements to purchase energy from 26 wind and solar projects around the world. Earlier, Google had been the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, claiming that title in 2019 but Amazon now claims to have surpassed that capacity.

REGlobal’s Views: Large corporates are increasingly shifting to renewables as part of their strategy to reduce carbon emissions and incorporate more sustainable practices. Technology giants particularly have been sourcing massive volumes of green energy through onsite solar establishments, corporate PPAs and even green credits to meet the power requirements of their highly energy intensive data centers. This green energy procurement by companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and others is only going to increase as the size and scale of their data centers increase.