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Amazon.com Inc. has secured a category-III power trading licence in India and is building a portfolio of wind and solar power to sell on local electricity exchanges, two people aware of the development said.

Amazon has signed power purchase agreements totalling 720 megawatts (MW) with Vibrant Energy, ReNew Energy Global, Amp Energy India and Brookfield Renewable, and is seeking to sign more such accords, the people said, seeking anonymity.

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The American retailer has established AEI New Energy Trading Pvt. Ltd for trading clean energy in India.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing unit of the e-commerce giant, operates several data centres around the world, including India, that consume a significant amount of electricity.

To help offset its carbon footprint, AWS has committed to using renewable energy and has invested in wind and solar energy projects globally. In addition, AWS also works with customers to help them cut carbon footprint and increase the use of renewable energy.

Amazon, the largest corporate buyer of clean energy in the world, aims to power its operations with renewable energy by 2025 and become carbon neutral by 2040. It has over 380 projects that will generate 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy annually when operational.

In an emailed response to a query, an Amazon spokesperson said, “AEI New Energy Trading Private Limited (AWS Trading company in India) is holding a category-III trading license from Central Electricity Regulatory Commission."

A category-III power trading licence allows Amazon to trade as many as 4,000 million units (MUs) in a financial year.

Amazon’s Asian green energy portfolio consists of 1.6GW of projects in India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

India is also transitioning to clean energy and is implementing regulatory measures to encourage the use of renewable energy and establishing a framework for carbon trading.

The country aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, increase non-fossil energy capacity to 500GW by 2030, and reduce carbon intensity by 45% from 2005 levels.

Mint earlier reported about the government’s Vision 2047, which aims to promote the growth of green jobs and facilitate wider social and economic transformation.

“Around the world, countries are looking to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, and continued investments like ours can help accelerate their journey as we all work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change," said Amazon Web Services chief executive Adam Selipsky in a 21 September statement.

Despite the global economic uncertainty, investor interest in the domestic green energy sector remains strong.

On 1 December, Amazon announced its first wind-solar hybrid projects in India with Vibrant Energy, a unit of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. The projects, located in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, will have a total capacity of 300MW.

“Combined with three solar farms in Rajasthan, Amazon now has five utility-scale renewable energy projects in India, representing more than 720MW of renewable energy capacity," Amazon said in its December statement.

The solar farms in Rajasthan include a 210MW project developed by ReNew Power, a 100MW project developed by Amp Energy India, and a 110MW project to be developed by Brookfield Renewable.

“These are the initial set of projects. Amazon plans to tie up more green energy capacity in India," said the second person cited above.

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Utpal Bhaskar
"Utpal Bhaskar leads Mint's policy and economy coverage. He is part of Mint’s launch team, which he joined as a staff writer in 2006. Widely cited by authors and think-tanks, he has reported extensively on the intersection of India’s policy, polity and corporate space.
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