Microsoft has announced a brand new contract that will see the company harness as much as 237 megawatts of wind energy. The supply would be enough to power the company’s zero-carbon data centers that are based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The company has entered into contract and will be receiving 178 megawatt from the Bloom Wind farm in Kansas and the remaining 59 megawatts from Silver Sage and Happy Jack farms in Wyoming. Coupled with Microsoft’s previous commitments that include a 75-megawatt wind farm agreement in Illinois and another 110-megawatt contract in Texas, the company is now churning out at least, over 500 MW through renewable resources.
Speaking on the topic, 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 datacenters. 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.
Speaking about the partnership, David R. Emery, chairman and CEO of Black Hills Corp said,
Our longstanding partnership with Microsoft productively led to this landmark collaboration. This collaboration provided them the opportunity to utilize significantly more renewable energy while still ensuring the reliability they’ve come to expect through our energy infrastructure and generation resources. We are proud to be a strong supporter and partner in their mission to power their datacenters with increased renewable energy resources, and look forward to our continued collaboration in the years ahead.
Interestingly enough, this is a two way partnership. While Microsoft’s Cheyenne, Wyoming based datacenters will be receiving power from the Wind Power firms we mentioned above, the data center’s backup generators will also be deployed to assist the main grid as a “secondary resource”. So basically, whenever the demand is too high and there is a power shortage, these emergency generators will kick into action and start supplying power to the locals.
Microsoft has always been a proponent of renewable sources. The company already has two Wind Energy providers on-board in the 75-megawatt Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois and the 110-megawatt Keechi wind project in Texas. This move is also a significant step along Microsoft’s plans to go green. As per an announcement made earlier this year, somewhere around 44 percent of its total power needs are currently met by renewable sources. The company wants to take it to 50 percent by 2018 and 60 percent by the beginning of the next decade.