SEATTLE—Amazon Web Services has contracted to construct and operate a 208 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Perquimans and Pasquotank Counties, North Carolina, called the Amazon Wind Farm US East. This new wind farm is expected to start generating approximately 670,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind energy annually starting December 2016, or enough to power more than 61,000 US homes in a year.

When completed, the $400 million project will be the first utility-scale wind farm in the state of North Carolina, with the energy generated delivered into the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS Cloud data centers. Amazon has contracted with Iberdrola Renewables to build the wind farm.

Reports say the construction phase of the project will create about 250 jobs near Elizabeth City.

Iberdrola Renewables, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA and is the US renewable energy division of parent company Iberdrola, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Iberdrola Renewables is headquartered in Portland, OR., and has more than $10 billion of operating assets.

The company will pay $1.1 million yearly in tax and lease payments, so the project will have a significant economic impact on the area.

The Associated Press points out that “There’s a push to power the growing number of data centers in the country with renewable energy. Google and Facebook have already announced similar projects. By the end of 2016, the Amazon project is expected to provide energy equivalent to the amount needed to power 61,000 homes. The energy will go into the electrical grid that supplies Amazon Web Services data centers.”

Amazon Web Services is the unit of e-commerce powerhouse Amazon that offers business services via remote servers, or the “cloud.” AWS said earlier this year that about 25 percent of the power consumed by its global infrastructure was from renewable sources and its goal is for that to reach 40 percent by the end of 2016.

Governor Pat McCrory said in a statement, “This kind of collaboration between Amazon and Iberdrola Renewables promotes North Carolina’s continued economic growth and highlights the importance of supporting the ongoing expansion of the technology sector in our state.”

The environmental organization Greenpeace also likes the deal.

Greenpeace released the following statement from Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner David Pomerantz:

“This wind deal confirms two things: First, that Amazon is serious about its goal to power with 100% renewable energy, and second, that utilities and state governments better get equally serious about providing renewable energy if they intend to win more business from the biggest companies of the internet economy. Amazon deserves praise for helping to catalyze the first wind farm in the Southeast,”

He added that it’s encouraging that Amazon has said it will continue to push utilities for more renewable energy. He noted, however, that Amazon lags behind Apple, Facebook, and Google for its lack of transparancy about its energy use with customers and the public.

The Associated Prress and WRAL staff contributed to this story.