Amazon has announced that it will start construction on a 208 megawatt wind farm in the US, and it's expected to start generating around 670,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy from December 2016, which is enough to power more than 61,000 homes each year.

To be installed in North Carolina's Perquimans and Pasquotank counties by company, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the wind farm is part of the US retail giant's pledge to get least 40 percent of its global infrastructure energy needs from renewable sources by the end of 2016. As of April 2015, it says approximately 25 percent of the power it guzzles up through its colossal data centres has been sustainably sourced.

The new wind farm is just one of a bunch of renewable energy projects that Amazon's been working on to give back to the local electricity grid. In January, it said that the Amazon Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana is expected to generate 500,000 megawatt hours of wind power annually, and in April, it announced a test run of Tesla's new energy storage batteries, which are designed to work with intermittent energy sources, such as wind and solar, by kicking in and powering up their data centres overnight and when the weather requires.

Last month, the company announced that is was building the Amazon Solar Farm US East in Virginia, which is expected to generate 170,000 megawatt hours of solar power annually. 

Altogether, these renewable projects are expected to pump more than 1.3 million MWh of additional renewable energy into electric grids across the central and eastern US, or roughly the equivalent amount of energy required to power 122,000 average US homes.

"We're far from being done. We'll continue pursuing projects that deliver clean energy to the various energy grids that serve AWS data centres, we'll continue working with our power providers to increase their renewable energy quotient, and we'll continue to strongly encourage our partners in government to extend the tax incentives that make it more viable for renewable projects to get off the ground," Jerry Hunter, vice president of infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, said in a press release.

It all sounds really great, but Amazon is far from being the environmentally friendly company it'd like to project itself as. At the end of May, Amazon Web Services announced that it was going to erect three new data centres in Ohio, which isn't the place you should be going if you want to power your infrastructure with clean energy. "Given that Ohio's electricity grid is powered predominantly by coal, current and potential customers of AWS have to wonder how the Ohio growth fits into AWS' commitment to power the data centres with 100 percent renewable energy," David Pomeranz writes for Clean Technica

"All told, this could generate as much as 480 MW of new electricity demand in Ohio across the three data centre campuses," said Pomeranz. "480 MW is nearly as much as an average-sized coal plant, and far outstrips the wind energy that AWS has purchased to date from the Fowler Ridge wind farm."

Hopefully this won't be the case for long. As we reported earlier this year, we're now adding more capacity for renewable energy each year than coal, natural gas, and oil combined, and in six major US cities, the cost of installing and running rooftop solar panels is now the same price or cheaper than buying electricity from the grid - even without the help of government subsidies. Soon 100 percent renewable energy sources will be the only way for companies like Amazon to power themselves. If they're smart about it, that is.