Today Amazon announced a new initiative to install solar PV at its fulfillment centers, with plans to deploy PV systems at 50 centers around the world by 2020. As the first step, the company says that it will install PV on 15 fulfillment centers in the United States by the end of 2017, with a combined capacity of up to 41 MW.
These initial projects will be located at Amazon facilities in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware, and Amazon says that solar installations will generate up to 80% of each fulfillment center’s annual electricity needs.
The company cites the PV installation at its Patterson, California, fulfillment center which it says will cover more than 75% of the 1.1 million square foot roof.
Amazon is not only putting solar installations on its facilities, but in 2016 was the top corporation for solar and wind procurement by capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BNEF reports that Amazon signed contracts for 233 MW of solar and 417 MW of wind projects globally during the year, and the company recently set a goal to reach 50% renewable energy consumption by the end of 2017.
Amazon has also expanded its Career Choice program to include funding for associates to train in solar installation by gaining NABCEP certification.
“The NABCEP professional accreditation is a spring board for fulfillment center associates to enter a rapidly growing and in-demand workforce outside of Amazon as PV installers,” said Amazon Worldwide Sustainability Director Kara Hurst. “It would be great one day soon to see former associates developing solar systems on the rooftops of our fulfillment centers.”