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Microsoft signs deals additional 237MW of wind energy

Published 15 November 2016

Microsoft has signed two agreements to purchase electricity and renewable energy certificates from wind farms totaling 237MW in the US.

The technology giant has contracted with Allianz Risk Transfer to buy power and environmental assets generated by the 178MW Bloom wind farm in Kansas.

In addition, the company has contracted with Black Hills Corp under a long-term agreement to purchase 59MW of renewable energy certificates from the Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind farms.

It is being considered as the largest purchase of wind energy by Microsoft till date. 

The wind farms are adjacent to Microsoft’s Cheyenne, Wyoming, datacenter.

The agreement bring Microsoft’s investment in wind energy in the US to over 500MW.

Microsoft cloud infrastructure strategy and architecture general manager Christian Belady said: "We are constantly looking for new ways to approach energy challenges and avenues of engagement with our utility partners. The team worked closely with ART to come up with a completely new model to enable faster adoption of renewables.

“Likewise, the tight engagement with Black Hills created the opportunity for Microsoft's datacenter to become an asset for the local grid, maintaining reliability and reducing costs for ratepayers.

This kind of deep collaboration with utilities has great potential to accelerate the pace of clean energy, benefitting all customers — not just Microsoft."

Microsoft and Black Hills Energy have also worked together to develop a new tariff and it will be available for eligible customers.

The idea is that the backup generators at local data centres can be used by consumers during power outages, thus eliminating the need for Black Hills Energy to construct another power plant for consumers.

This tariff proposal received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission in July this year.


Image: Microsoft to buy clean energy from two wind farms to power its data centre. Photo: Courtesy of Photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.