My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: @Amazon US$150 million Solar Farm US East has Greenpeace suspicious of AWS Cloud Computing Power Sources

Monday, June 15, 2015

@Amazon US$150 million Solar Farm US East has Greenpeace suspicious of AWS Cloud Computing Power Sources

Amazon has decided that it’s not enough to beat Apple in the 7" Tablet Category with the Amazon Kindle Fire and all her children as listed in my blog article entitled “Kindle Fire battle Apple iPad Mini in 2014 - Why @Amazon Tablet Glory Days fading as Tablet Extinction inevitable”.

They've now decided to make their mark in the area of Renewable Energy by building a US$150 million dollar Solar Farm in Virginia in the US of A called Amazon Solar Farm US East as reported in the article “Amazon backs $150 million solar project in Virginia”, published June 10, 2015 by Ben Fox Rubin, CNET News.

The details on this latest project, revealed in an Amazon Press Release, marks a rare move for Amazon, being as they are usually very secretive about revealing company or product information. They are even more so when it comes to their cash-cow AWS, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in April 2015 referred to as a rapidly growing US$5 billion dollar business.

Located in Accomack County, Virginia, the project is a massive 1000 acre 80 MW Solar Farm being built in partnership with Community Energy, a Solar Utility company who specializes in designing and provisioning Solar Farms.

Community Energy has been busy trying to get the necessary approvals to build the Solar Plant as explained in “80-megawatt solar facility coming to Accomack County”, published February 1, 2015 by Eastern Shore News, News Leader.

So why is Amazon suddenly so open about their latest venture, seeing as it has nothing to do with any of their latest products in the pipeline, such as Amazon Prime air as detailed in my blog article entitled “Amazon’s Prime Air Patent – How Swarm Intelligence pilots @Amazon Autonomous Drones via White Spaces Network with Call Center Agent Personal Touch?

Because of GreenPeace, that's why!

Amazon reveals plans for US$150 million Amazon Solar Farm US East – Cloud Computing generates GreenHouse Gases

The Cloud Computing field is a rapidly expanding business area for Corporate and Enterprise businesses in the Technology Industry. US$5 billion dollars per annum is a lot of corn to be making from this growing trend towards using Cloud Storage and Cloud Computing.

It's also fiercely competitive, with the likes of Microsoft, Google, Dell and Oracle expanding the footprint of their Server Farms in a bid to ride this Cloud computing Wave for Corporate,
Enterprise and Consumer market customers.

However, this has not been without controversy, especially as these Server Farms are known to consume vast amounts of electrical energy, often derived from Coal and LNG Power Plants which contribute indirectly to increased Carbon Dioxide pollution.

Then there is also their continued use of CFC (Chloro-Flouro-Carbon), a pollutant which causes damage to the Ozone Layer which is generated due to leakage from compressors from their excessive use of Air Conditioning in their Environmental Control Systems.

Many companies running Server Farms have been criticized for this and Amazon is no exception, with Greenpeace publishing a letter from nineteen (19) of their AWS Customers who prodded Amazon to reveal the source of Power they use for their Cloud Server Data Farms.

Thus Amazon, finding themselves the targets of this rather aggressive environmental activist, revealed their plans in a bid to calm AWS customers like Huffington Post, Upworthy and Tumblr who apparently were upset that they were not being a good company.

Hence, a few days later Amazon responded to Greenpeace's accusations with an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Blog post detailing their Power sources and plans for a switch to Alternative Energy!

Amazon Reveals AWS Power Sources – Apple’s Solar Plans more detailed as Greenpeace suspicious

In that AWS (Amazon Web Services) Blog Amazon made a few points about their AWS power usage:

1.      AWS used fewer Servers and less power than when the business did it themselves
2.      25% of their AWS and infrastructure power came from Renewable Sources as of April 2015
3.      40% of AWS and infrastructure power would be coming from Renewable Sources by 2016

Greenpeace commented that this was not enough information, as it did not set a timetable for when they'd achieve this lofty aim. Also, although Amazon revealed their investment in the massive 1000 acre 80 MW Solar Farm being built in partnership with Community Energy in Accomack County, Virginia, they did not reveal how much of that US$150 million dollar was their investment.

Personally, what got me suspicious about the figure is that it seems a lot cheaper than Apple's planned 1,300-acre 130MW Solar Farm located in Monterey County in California that is a partnership with Solar Utility company, First Solar as detailed in my blog article entitled “Apple's US$848 million 1,300-acre Solar Farm - How First Solar is decoupling Green Apple from the Grid using Renewable Energy”.

Apple's Solar Farm investment disclosure not only details their investment of US$848 but how long they plan to take to build and pay for it, which is over a twenty five (25) year span. So rather than answer more questions, AWS disclosure raises more questions from this suspiciously secretive EMC3 (Earth's Most Customer Centric Company).

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