Software giants Microsoft have announced a new deal with an Illinois-based wind farm project to power it’s Chicago datacentre. The makers of Windows will purchase 175 megawatts of commercial wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project as part of a 20-year agreement announced this week. Microsoft who – along with Google – have set the trend for technology companies to push towards renewable energy power for their worldwide locations, announced the deal on their blog, also revealing the 175Mw purchase to be the biggest in the company’s history and one of the biggest corporate wind purchases from a single facility.
The Pilot Hill Wind Project is owned and operated by EDF Renewable Energy, with whom Microsoft brokered a similar deal for one of their datacentres in Texas late last year.
“As the cost of renewable energy continues to decline, it is encouraging to see leading corporations investing in the sector based not only on their desire to positively impact the environment, but also because it simply makes good business sense,” said Ryan Pfaff, EDF Renewable Energy’s executive vice president of development.
Since 2012, the makers of software such as Word and Excel have been striving to meet their green motto; “Be lean. Be green. Be accountable.”
That year, Microsoft went off the grid with the city of Cheyenne, the University of Wyoming and Fuel Cell Energy, with the first zero-carbon datacentre. The biogas used to power the 200-kilowatt facility is a byproduct of waste from a nearby water treatment plant.
Last year alone, the company established twenty new projects to offset their commercial energy usage.
Arguably the most famous of which was to take their Silicon Valley campus ‘off the grid’ and onto energy produced by 2,288 solar panels covering more than 31,000 square feet of rooftop of their famous California premises.