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Amazon plans to develop solar farm in Lee County

DIXON – Amazon announced plans Tuesday to build a solar farm in Lee County, the company’s first large-scale renewable energy project in the state.

As part of the tech giant’s recent focus on working toward a greener carbon footprint, Amazon released plans for developing renewable energy projects in Lee County as well as Frederick County, Virginia, and southeast of Seville, Spain.

The three solar farms are expected to generate about 700,000 megawatt hours of energy a year, enough to power about 67,000 homes.

The Lee County and Virginia projects would total 180 megawatts.

Once complete, the three new renewable energy solar projects will provide an estimated 329 megawatts of additional renewable capacity supplying energy to the company’s fulfillment network in Europe and Amazon Web Services data centers, which power Amazon and millions of AWS customers globally, according to an Amazon news release.

“As we work to put our state on a path to 100% clean and renewable energy, Illinois is proud to have Amazon invest in a major solar project in our state,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “Addressing climate change will take all of us working together, and leadership from state governments and the business community will demonstrate how we can sustainability power a modern economy and create good-paying jobs.”

In September, Amazon committed to The Climate Pledge, setting a goal to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net zero carbon by 2040. They plan to run on 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030.

“We’re committed to investing in renewable energy as a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon Director of Sustainability.

Amazon has launched more than 70 renewable energy projects that will provide more than 1,900 megawatts of renewable capacity and are projected to deliver more than 5.3 million megawatt hours of renewable energy annually. These projects include 21 utility-scale wind and solar farms and more than 50 solar rooftops installed on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe.

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