Microsoft sails ahead with new wind projects

With two new investments, Microsoft has made its biggest wind energy purchase yet. The acquisition of a combined 237MW of wind generation means the technology company now has over 500MW of wind power in the […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

With two new investments, Microsoft has made its biggest wind energy purchase yet.

The acquisition of a combined 237MW of wind generation means the technology company now has over 500MW of wind power in the US alone.

It aims to power its energy intensive data-centres from 100% renewable sources to create a responsible and green cloud network.

Microsoft has agreed with Allianz Risk Transfer (ART) to fix its long-term energy costs at the 178MW Bloom Wind farm in Kansas. The site uses new technology developed by ART to reduce the high upfront costs associated with large-scale wind projects.

The tech firm has also bought 59MW of renewable energy certificates from two wind farms next to their data centre in Wyoming.

Microsoft worked out a deal with the owners, Black Hills Energy, to allow the supplier to use energy from Microsoft’s back-up generator in times of low wind-generation.

This adds reliability and stability to the grid, meaning the deal benefits not only the two companies involved but also the surrounding area.

Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft is committed to building a responsible cloud and these agreements represent progress toward our goal of improving the energy mix at our data-centers. Our commitment extends beyond greening our own operations because these projects help create a greener, more reliable grid in the communities in which we operate.”