New Projects, Wind

Microsoft Purchases Additional 237 MW of Wind Energy

By Editors of Power Engineering

Microsoft announced a wind energy purchase agreement totaling 237 MW of energy, which is its biggest purchase of wind energy to date.

The purchase brings Microsoft’s total investment in wind energy projects in the U.S. to more than 500 MW.

Microsoft’s newest purchases includes a contract with Allianz Risk Transferfor the 178-MW Bloom Wind project in Kansas. The project is the first to use a novel structure developed by ART and designed to offset high upfront costs associated with the creation of large-scale wind projects. Microsoft is the first buyer to participate in this structure, which has the potential to bring clean energy projects online at a faster pace.

The second of Microsoft’s two newest purchases is with Black Hills Energy for 59 MW from the Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind projects adjacent to Microsoft’s Cheyenne, Wyoming datacenter. The combined output will produce enough energy to cover all the energy used at the center.

Microsoft and Black Hills Energy also created a new tariff, available to all eligible customers, that allows the utility to tap the local datacenter’s backup generators, thereby eliminating the need for Black Hills Energy to construct a new power plant. The tariff received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission in July.

Microsoft continues to purchase from the 175-MW Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois and the 110-MW Keechi wind project in Texas.