Amazon and Vena Energy have announced the commercial operation of a new 125-megawatt (MW) renewable energy project in Woleebee, Queensland.
Consisting of more than 250,000 solar photovoltaic panels, the Amazon Solar Farm Australia – Wandoan is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power more than 60,000 Australian homes each year.
“Amazon is on a path to power our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, and we’re proud to deliver new solar and wind projects in Australia, driving strong sustainability outcomes for our customers and local communities,” said Ken Haig, Head of Energy and Environment Policy, Asia Pacific & Japan, Amazon Web Services. “For more than a decade, Amazon has invested billions of dollars in Australia, and today’s announcement demonstrates our continued investment in Australia’s future. As the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, our investment in our renewable energy projects, including the Wandoan project, helps deliver clean energy to local grids, creates new jobs, and supports local businesses.”
Wandoan South Project
Amazon Solar Farm Australia – Wandoan is owned and operated by Vena Energy, and the renewable energy project is a part of the Wandoan South Project approved for 650 MW solar and 450 MW battery storage.
This fully constructed solar project announced today supported approximately 220 jobs (at peak construction) and hosted a diverse workforce from across the State.
This included the direct involvement of the local workforce from within the Region, with 30% of the workforce hailing from the area during the initial phase of the construction program.
These local services accounted for more than 15% of the Project’s awarded contracts.
“As leaders in Australia’s clean energy transition, Queensland is committed to partnering with international business and industry to deliver local growth. The announcement by Amazon and Vena Energy is further testament to the viability of our state for investment in renewable energy,” said Minister Mick de Brenni, Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs. “Queensland’s legendary renewable resources, publicly-owned energy system and world-class Energy and Jobs Plan provide a strong foundation for investment, and the Amazon Solar Farm is the latest renewable energy project to come online as a result.”
Since 2016, Vena Energy has successfully commissioned an operational portfolio totalling 407 MW, including the 100 MW/150 megawatt-hours (MWh) Wandoan South Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), the first utility-scale battery in Queensland and one of the largest in Australia.
As of June 2023, Vena Energy has a renewable energy pipeline amounting to approximately 6 GW in Australia, consisting of a 128.5 MW hybrid solar-and-energy storage project currently under construction, and a further 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of projects under advance development, including the Wandoan South Solar 2, which is forecasted to achieve commercial operation by Q3 2026.
“We are thrilled to mark a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to sustainable energy with the successful commercial operation of the Amazon Solar Project Australia – Wandoan,” said Nitin Apte, CEO of Vena Energy. “As Vena Energy continues to lead the way in the renewable energy landscape in Asia Pacific, this Project exemplifies our dedication to creating a cleaner, more sustainable future for Australia. By harnessing the power of over 250,000 solar photovoltaic panels, the Project in collaboration with Amazon, not only generates clean energy but also fosters local economic growth, creating jobs and supporting businesses. We are proud to play a pivotal role in the Queensland’s renewable energy transition, working hand in hand with local communities to unlock the full potential of a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.”
The entire Wandoan South Project, will provide in excess of 1,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean energy, annually, to the Western Downs Region.
This entire Project includes the Amazon Solar Project Australia – Wandoan, the proposed Wandoan South Solar 2, and ancillary support from Queensland’s largest utility scale battery, the Wandoan South Battery Energy Storage System.
Amazon’s renewable energy projects in Australia have generated AU$467 million investments
Amazon now has seven renewable energy projects in Australia, which are helping power Amazon’s Australian operations, including Amazon data centres, and fulfilment centres, while also providing new sources of clean power to local communities and the East Coast grid.
New economic data from Amazon shows the company’s investments in wind and solar farms in Australia from 2020 to 2022 generated an estimated AU$467 million in local economic investment.
This contributed an estimated AU$187 million to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Globally, communities where Amazon wind and solar farms are located experienced more than $12 billion in additional investment from 2014 through 2022.
The Wandoan project is Amazon’s first renewable energy project in Queensland.
Amazon’s other projects include two operational solar farms in Suntop and Gunnedah in New South Wales, a wind farm in Hawkesdale, Victoria, and three rooftop solar projects on Amazon facilities in Melbourne and Sydney.
Altogether, once operational, the projects are estimated to generate more than 1,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh)of clean power – enough to power more than 175,000 Australian homes.
As of the end of 2022, 90% of the electricity Amazon used to power its operations was from renewable energy resources and the company is on a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Amazon invested in more than 100 new solar and wind energy projects in 2023, maintaining its position as the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy for the fourth year in a row.
The company now has more than 500 wind and solar projects globally, and once operational, they are expected to generate more than 77,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean energy each year, or enough to power 13.4 million Australian homes.