Amazon Backing 80-Megawatt Solar Farm for Virginia Data Centers

Amazon.com Inc. hired Community Energy Inc. to build an 80-megawatt solar farm in Virginia that will supply power to the retailer’s data centers.

The Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East project in Accomack County is expected to begin operating by October 2016, the Seattle-based retailer said in a statement Wednesday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The company’s Amazon Web Services unit said in November that it’s seeking to operate exclusively on renewable energy. About one quarter of the power now used by the subsidiary comes from clean sources, and it plans to increase that to 40 percent by the end of next year, according to the statement.

More than 8.7 gigawatts of solar capacity will be installed this year in the U.S., which would trail only China and Japan, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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