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Amazon Japan to power itself with 450 little solar plants

22-megawatt rig to be built by Mitsubishi – apparently the first direct sale agreement of its sort in Japan

Amazon's Japan outpost will power its operations with over 450 solar plants under a power purchase agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation's retail energy arm, MC Retail Energy.

The deal will see Mitsubishi build the facilities across Tokyo and the northern Japanese region of Tohoku. Amazon has contracted to buy power from the facilities, through MC Retail Energy.

The facilities will generate 23,000 megawatt hours each year

Amazon says the deal is the first direct power purchase of its kind in Japan, and its second with Mitsubishi after an offshore wind venture in The Netherlands.

The Register understands the juice will power Amazon Web Services' data centres in Japan, and other operations.

AWS operates in Osaka and Tokyo, where it runs three and four availability zones respectively. The cloud colossus is famously reticent to discuss technical details of its operations so it's hard to guess at the power consumption of its seven facilities in Japan. For what it's worth, Equinix operates a dozen data centres in Tokyo, and says its newest and largest "XScale" facility – TY12X – has 54 megawatts of capacity.

Would AWS operate at smaller scale? Or, as it does elsewhere, would it reside in Equinix facilities without necessarily being the dominant tenant?

We may never know. What we do know, for now, is that Amazon is chuffed with the deal, and says it's on track to be powered entirely by renewable energy by the end of 2025. ®


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