Amazon agrees to purchase expensive BigWind energy for Ohio data center

Ohio Governor Kasich has confirmed that Amazon Web Services will locate in the Columbus, Ohio area.  Because large data centers are significant users of electricity, they often form alliances with renewable energy providers.  In this instance, Amazon has entered into a 13 year Power Purchase Agreement with Pattern Energy for the wind power from phase IV of the Fowler Wind project in Benton County, Indiana.  Fowler will be renamed the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm.  We speculate that arrangements with large users will be the way that renewable energy will be sold in the future.  To the extent that Ohio retains a renewable energy mandate for a certain percentage of energy to be supplied from renewable sources, the wind purchased from Indiana would qualify to meet Ohio goals.  On the other hand, the Amazon deal demonstrates that the free market can work since Amazon made this choice of its own free will.  (And some social pressure from environmentalists like Greenpeace.)

We would hope that in an effort to protect their brand, companies like Amazon and others would not be attracted to wind purchased from developments with inadequate siting or high rates of wildlife mortality.  In that regard, ongoing media is important to highlight where problems are present or threatened.  We salute the citizen who responded to the trumped up Van Wert Chamber of Commerce “award”  by writing a letter to the Editor of the Van Wert Independent newspaper.   The letter is provided below this article about Amazon…

$1.1 billion data center proposed by Amazon is coming to central Ohio, according to Gov. John Kasich. A long discussed Amazon data center in central Ohio may get some of its electricity from wind energy….

Amazon said this week that it is working with a partner to build a 150-megawatt wind farm in Indiana to power “current and future” data centers. Ohio officials have been working for months with Amazon to attract a $1.1 billion cloud-computing center, according to state and local officials. Hilliard and Dublin are potential locations, and both cities have offered incentive packages that would accompany state incentives. Gov. John Kasich said in October that Amazon had “already committed” to build in the state….

The Indiana wind farm would be in Benton County, near the Illinois line. It would be able to deliver electricity to Ohio. The company is working with Pattern Energy Group on the project. Amazon is bringing “a new source of clean energy to the electric grid where we currently operate a large number of data centers and have ongoing expansion plans to support our growing customer base,” Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, said in a statement.

Environmental groups have long criticized the company for its energy policies. For example, Greenpeace has said the company needs to move away from using coal-fired power plants to power its data centers….

Wind farm in Indiana could power Amazon data center in central Ohio | The Columbus Dispatch.

To the Editor:

On January 9, The VW Independent posted a “news” item about Susan Munroe and the Van Wert Chamber reaching around their own shoulder and patting themselves on the back for “helping the local economy” by testifying in support of tax and ratepayer subsidies and government guaranteed markets for wind energy designed to prop up Van Wert.

They honor themselves for acting directly in opposition to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which continues to advocate for a free market.

IRS records show the Iberdrola Blue Creek Wind energy project collected $183 million in Section 1603 federal grant money at time the project went on line. It is still collecting additional subsidies, which, over time, will be worth close to another $100 million. In fact, more than half of the money flowing into Iberdrola’s already gold-lined pockets over the facility lifespan is not earned by selling electricity at market rates, but rather siphoned off from hard working American families’ and businesses’ income taxes and after tax income paid in electricity bills.


The Van Wert Chamber celebrates Iberdrola’s payment of $2.7 million per year for 20 years, which was made possible by the citizens trading almost $300 million to buy that payment. The other more than $200 million is gone forever to the Spanish project developer, Iberdrola, and the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer they purchased the machines from: Gamesa.

While the Ohio Chamber is against mandates and subsidies for expensive, intermittent-fueled electricity generation technologies, it appears the Van Wert Chamber, along with a small contingency of other small-town chambers across America, is proud to support massive government forced wealth transfers from you and me — American tax and utility rate payers — to wealthy corporations, many of them like Iberdrola and Gamesa, foreign owned.  When foreign companies pay you off in exchange for allowing them to pick your pocket and harm America, it’s definitely not something to be proud of.

Molly Buettner