Amazon has a new solar-powered way to power the infrastructure needed for AI

AES Baldy Mesa solar-plus-storage farm
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has published details of a new battery energy storage system it will use at its Mojave Desert solar site to ensure minimal power disruptions in its bid to clean up and reduce emissions.

The company has detailed how a football field-sized battery storage facility at its Baldy Mesa solar farm will discharge stored daytime electricity back into the grid at night starting this month.

The revised site, which Amazon is calling a ‘solar-plus-storage farm,’ will utilize machine learning models powered by AWS to optimize battery charging and discharging in order to ensure a steady flow of carbon-free energy in order for the tech giant to offset the high consumption of its data centers and other sites.

Amazon AI-powered solar

“Pairing solar projects enabled by Amazon with AI technologies powered by AWS helps to ensure the grid and the customers it serves receive a steady supply of carbon-free energy for more hours each day, while also helping Amazon make progress toward our commitment to be a more sustainable company," noted Kara Hurst, Amazon’s VP of Worldwide Sustainability.

Together with the company’s other efforts, including a rooftop solar array at its Air Hub in San Bernadino, Amazon now has nearly 1.5 gigawatts of battery energy storage capacity.

At the Baldy Mesa site, developed, owned, and operated by AES, AI-driven software built with Amazon SageMaker will analyze up to 33 billion data points annually to optimize energy storage and grid distribution.

Highlighting the scale of the potential, the announcement declares (citing figures from the International Energy Agency) that more than 400 billion data points per year are produced by the world’s wind turbines, all of which could feed into AI and ML models.

Besides energy generation, Amazon is also working on an AI model that could help reduce energy usage at its Air Hub and other buildings.

Amazon’s initiatives at Baldy Mesa and beyond are an example in action of the crucial role that emerging technologies like AI can have in the renewable energy sector, which is known for higher supply fluctuations due to the natural resources on which they rely.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!