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How the wind power sector found a vital ally in Microsoft

How the wind power sector found a vital ally in Microsoft

The energy sector does not exist in a vacuum—for any form of energy production to truly grow and thrive, there has to be both a sufficient demand and infrastructure support. Right now wind energy is finding that kind of support in Microsoft. The global tech company has invested significantly in wind power over the past two years, building up contracts to deliver 285 MW of renewable power to its data centers from two wind energy projects built offsite. It’s a progressive move for Microsoft to turn toward renewable energy reliance—and for the renewable energy sector, the support of a company with as much influence and reach as Microsoft could be an immense boost.

Microsoft’s commitment to wind power has grown organically out of investment in the company’s own growth. As green energy publication Clean Technica reports, Microsoft’s recognition of the potential of its cloud-computing has driven the company’s data center team to look for more sustainable and reliable power sources:

The data center energy team recognized that as Microsoft developed its cloud-computing infrastructure, the construction of large data centers committed the company to purchasing large quantities of electricity to power these assets over their operating lifetimes. In fact, while building a data center can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, it can cost up twice that to power the building over its lifetime.


With Microsoft’s sustainability team leading a charge that led to an adoption of carbon neutral goals in 2012, the company has turned increasingly to wind power for the energy needed to run its data centers. Over the past two years, Microsoft has contracted 285 mW of renewable energy—enough to keep 125,000 homes in electricity—from powerful off-site wind farms.

According to Clean Technica, Microsoft was also able to close deals on these projects in record time due to a combination of factors: a dedicated team with energy industry experience assigned specifically to make these renewable energy contracts happen, the external assistance of knowledgeable partners outside the Microsoft team, and full support from Microsoft’s executive teams across the board from legal to accounting.

Microsoft’s successful integration of wind power into its data center technology has shown that it can be done—and what’s more, it can be done efficiently and rather quickly. It also shows to other companies looking to go green that investing in wind energy can be worth the effort. That’s not just good for tech businesses, it’s also good for wind power—the more people invest, the more the industry can keep building and thriving from here.

[SOURCE: Clean Technica]

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