Last month at an event in Las Vegas, Nat Sahlstrom, a director for Amazon’s cloud computing unit, told an audience that electrical power is “the lifeblood of the modern data center,” reminding the crowd that the unit—known as Amazon Web Services—had pledged four years earlier to one day rely solely on renewable energy.
What he didn’t say is that after a spurt of investments in the two years following that pledge, AWS has hit speed bumps on the way to its goal. Over the last two years, it hasn’t announced any further deals for wind or solar farms to power its data centers. The Information has learned that AWS quietly scrapped plans for a previously announced wind farm in Ohio. A senior AWS executive, Peter DeSantis, has told colleagues inside the company that renewable energy projects are too costly and don’t help it win business, according to two people who heard him make the comments and a third who was briefed on them.