Microsoft and Sol Systems have announced plans to work together on a portfolio of more than 500MW of solar projects in the US.
Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate the projects and sell the electricity generated to Microsoft through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The initiative will help Microsoft meet its goal of moving towards 100% renewable energy by 2025.
The two companies also plan to invest at least $50 million (£39m) for community-led grants and investments that support educational programmes, job and career training, habitat restoration and programmes that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency.
Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft said: “We recognise that climate and environmental issues don’t impact every community the same way and we need to address environmental equity as a broader issue.
“Our work with Sol Systems is a first-of-its-kind initiative tying the purchasing of renewable energy to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities. What makes this partnership unique is that we will be working with local leaders, prioritising minority and women-owned businesses and making community-lead grants and investments.”
Yuri Horwitz, Sol Systems CEO and Co-founder added: “This marks a groundbreaking commitment by Microsoft, Sol Systems and our employees to invest in our communities and drive economic recovery.
“This is a unique approach to couple clean energy with community development and investment.”