(image source: irishtimes.com)

Amazon’s first operational wind farm in the Republic of Ireland has gone online in North Cork.

The 23 megawatt wind farm in the remote townland of Esk, not to far from Balliagree is the first in the country to be built without public subsidies.

The commissioning of the Esk windfarm comes as the founding CEO of the global giant Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s richest men, stepped down from the company’s top position to focus on his interests in space travel and energy generation.

It is thought the company is aiming to use the power generated in Esk to offset carbon emissions from data centres to be built in Ireland by Amazon to service its worldwide sales.

It is also the first of three utility-scale renewables projects Amazon is investing in in Ireland.

Another wind farm in County Galway and one in County Donegal are due to become operational in 2022

In total, Amazon’s three utility-scale renewables projects in Ireland are projected to add 229MW of renewable energy to the Irish grid each year. Amazon is the first company in Ireland to sign un-subsidized corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs).

In 2020, Amazon became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, having invested in 6500 MW of renewable power.

These projects supply renewable energy for fulfilment centres, where customer orders are processed, and Amazon’s data centres that support millions of customers globally, the online retailer said.

“Amazon has been investing and growing in Ireland for over 15 years,” said Mike Beary, AWS Ireland country manager.

“We are building a digital economy for the future that is robust and sustainable.”

Other innovative projects Amazon is investing in to support Ireland in meeting its 2030 renewable energy targets include the country’s first, custom-built district heating scheme that will provide heat recycled from an Amazon data centre to public sector, residential, and commercial residents in Tallaght, south Dublin.

Credit: Concubhar Ó Liatháin | Global giant Amazon’s first of three Irish windfarms goes online in Esk, North Cork | independent.ie