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Amazon's solar panels have been going up in flames and the company forgot to mention it

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Amazon experienced 47 solar panel-related fires between April 2020 and June 2021, according to internal documents obtained by CNBC. It’s believed that the fires were caused as a result of electrical explosions, known as arc flashes. According to an Amazon spokesperson, the systems that caught fire were run by partners, but it has voluntarily taken offline the panels that it controls too, at least temporarily.

Responding to the news, Amazon spokesperson Erika Howard said:

“Out of an abundance of caution, following a small number of isolated incidents with onsite solar systems owned and operated by third parties, Amazon proactively powered off our onsite solar installations in North America, and took immediate steps to re-inspect each installation by a leading solar technical expert firm.”

While having teething problems with new technologies is fine, Amazon decided to exclude what had happened from its 2021 sustainability report that was published last month. Instead, it said that solar rooftops would be powering 115 fulfilment centres around the world by the end of 2021, up from 90 in mid-2021.

The spokesperson confirmed to CNBC that Amazon has completed its inspections of the solar rooftops and that they were being powered back on. She also said that Amazon now has a team of experts that construct, operate, and maintain solar panels to ensure a higher level of safety. Previously, the company was using third-party vendors.

Amazon has said that it’s trying to become a net-zero company by 2040. That’s ten years earlier than the Paris Climate Agreement. Through The Climate Pledge, it’s also trying to help other businesses achieve net-zero status too.

Source: CNBC

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