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Microsoft to power Cheyenne data centre with 100% wind energy

Tue 15 Nov 2016

Microsoft has announced its largest ever wind energy deal to power its cloud data centre facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Signing two agreements to purchase 237 megawatts of wind energy from projects based in Kansas and Wyoming in the U.S., the tech giant’s total investment in wind energy now amounts to over 500 megawatts, in addition to renewable energy bought from the grid including wind, solar, and hydro-power.

‘These are Microsoft’s third and fourth wind energy agreements, joining the 175-megawatt Pilot Hill wind project in Illinois and 110-megawatt Keechi wind project in Texas,’ said Microsoft in a statement.

The latest purchase involves a procurement of 178 megawatts from the Bloom Wind Project in Kansas via a 10-year contract with Allianz Risk Transfer, and 59 megawatts of wind power from Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind farms in Wyoming through a contract with Black Hills. According to Microsoft, the combined output of the two initiatives will produce enough energy annually to power the data centre at Cheyenne.

‘Microsoft is committed to building a responsible cloud, and these agreements represent progress toward our goal of improving the energy mix at our datacenters,’ commented Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith.

‘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,’ he added.

The goal Smith referred to was set in May this year. Currently, 44% of electricity consumed by Microsoft data centres comes from renewables sources, with the tech company committing to boost this to 50% by 2018.

Microsoft is not alone in its efforts to drive its data centre green credentials. In June this year, Apple announced it was working with North Carolina’s Catawba County to set up a renewables plant which will generate power from landfill gas. While the company did not specify the end destination for the power, Apple owns a large data centre in the region already running on a mix of solar and biogas provisions.

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data centre green Microsoft US
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