Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud service provider, announced its plans to invest more than £1.8bn ($2.4bn), over the next two years, to build and operate data centers in the UK. In turn, AWS will “more than double” its total investment in the UK to-date – which has primarily been focused on London. Additionally, AWS will increasingly support its data center facilities with renewable energy, which includes large-scale wind projects in Scotland, UK.
While AWS has provided few details on the specifics of its forthcoming data center investments, Dgtl Infra reviews the company’s existing presence in the UK.
Existing UK Data Center Presence – Amazon Web Services (AWS)
In the UK, Amazon Web Services (AWS) operates its cloud region and availability zones out of London. At the same time, the company has deployed cloud on-ramps in both London and Manchester, UK. Recall, Amazon Web Services (AWS) simplistically defines its data center architecture as follows:
- Region: physical location around the world where AWS clusters data centers
- Availability Zone: group of one or more logical data centers
Additionally, across the UK, AWS has established smaller deployments at multi-tenant data centers, known as cloud on-ramps, which are connected to its AWS Region through the AWS network backbone. In turn, more organizations can access AWS’ secure, reliable, low-latency, and high throughput network connectivity.
In December 2016, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched its AWS London Region, known as Europe (London) or by the code eu-west-2. Since 2018, AWS has operated three Availability Zones out of its London Region.
In London, AWS has also deployed cloud on-ramps at the following multi-tenant data centers:
- Digital Realty Sovereign House (LHR20): located in the London Docklands area
- Equinix LD5: located in Slough, UK (west of London) and operates in a campus environment with LD4, LD6, LD7, LD10 and LD13x
- Telehouse West: located in the London Docklands area and is an additional home to the London Internet Exchange (LINX)
In Manchester, AWS has deployed a cloud on-ramp, which is associated with its Europe (London) region, at the following multi-tenant data center:
- Equinix MA3: located in the industrial area of Trafford Park, in the borough of Trafford
In the UK, Amazon Web Services (AWS) serves customers including start-ups, small- and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises, public sector organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. For example, AWS counts clients such as AstraZeneca, Barclays, easyJet, EDF, Formula 1, Just Eat, Genomics England, Hopin, ITV, the Ministry of Justice, Monzo, Morrisons, and NatWest Group.
Renewable Energy – Amazon
In 2019, Amazon pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2040. As part of this commitment, the company intends to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030. Moreover, Amazon states that it is on-track to achieve its 100% renewable energy target by 2025 – five years ahead of plan.
In October 2021, Amazon’s first UK renewable energy project in Kintyre, a peninsula in western Scotland, became operational and started delivering wind power to the grid. Notably, Amazon purchases 100% of the power output from this wind farm.
Furthermore, including Kintyre, Amazon has 5 large-scale renewable energy projects in the UK which, together, will provide a total capacity of 545 megawatts of renewable energy.
Moray West Offshore Wind Farm
In 2021, Amazon announced its largest renewable energy project in the UK to-date, known as the Moray West Offshore Wind Farm, which is located off the coast of Scotland. Amazon will be the anchor and largest offtaker (buyer), contracting 350 megawatts of renewable energy.