Microsoft wants to power at least 60% of its data centers with renewable energy generated by wind, solar and hydropower by 2020. (Photo Credit: Microsoft Corp.)
- Global technology company Microsoft Corp. is planning to purchase solar power from Pleinmont I and II, representing 315 MW of PV capacity
- Both projects are part of 500 MW being developed by sPower in US East Coast State Virginia
- This move makes Microsoft the single largest corporate purchaser of solar energy in the US
- With this deal, Microsoft has achieved its aim of powering at least 50% of its data centers with clean energy by 2018
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Global technology company Microsoft Corp., is planning to purchase solar power from two PV projects of 315 MW in Virginia. This is the company’s second such deal, though at a much larger magnitude. Back in 2016, it signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 20 MW of solar energy with the Commonwealth of Virginia and Dominion Virginia Power.
The 315 MW of capacity will come from 2 projects, Pleinmont I and II, being developed by renewable energy producer sPower. They are both part of a larger 500 MW development. Both of these projects will use more than 750,000 solar panels and are expected to generate around 715,000 MWh of clean energy annually.
Once fully operational, the 500 MW project will be the largest solar project in the state of Virginia, equal to the entire amount of power currently produced in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
That makes this deal particularly important, according to Microsoft, as it is the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the US. Microsoft has a sizeable number of data centers and office buildings to power in Virginia. “Microsoft’s participation is a game-changer for this project and for other buyers,” said Ryan Creamer, CEO of sPower. “Their early commitment helped ensure that the project continued to move forward and come to fruition at a time of regulatory uncertainty,” he added.
With this commitment, Microsoft has achieved its target to power at least 50% of its data centers with clean energy by 2018. It is aiming to take this number up to 60% by early 2020. Currently, the amount of renewable energy directly purchased by the company stands at around 1.2 GW.