Microsoft recently signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy in Illinois that will be funded in part by proceeds from Microsoft’s carbon fee.
This is the company’s second PPA, following the purchase in November of wind energy from the Keechi Wind Project in Texas. This most recent power purchase, the Pilot Hill Wind Project, is Microsoft’s largest wind investment to date. It is nearly 60% larger than Keechi, at 175 MW versus Keechi’s 110 MW. Microsoft says this project builds on the company’s commitment to renewable energy and strategic objective to transform the energy supply chain toward radically greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
The agreement with EDF Renewable Energy will see Microsoft purchase up to an estimated 675,000 MWh of renewable energy from Pilot Hill Wind Project each year, enough to meet the power needs of almost 70,000 homes in Illinois. The Pilot Hill Wind Project is 60 miles from Chicago, spanning the border of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and the wind farm is on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft’s data center in Chicago. Pilot Hill Wind Project construction has already commenced and will begin delivering green power in 2015.
Because this is a new project, the energy generated at Pilot Hill is “additional,” which means that Microsoft’s purchase is bringing new renewable energy onto the Illinois electric grid. By purchasing wind, the company says they hope to reduce the overall amount of emissions associated with operating Microsoft facilities and spur additional investment in renewable energy.
Filed Under: News, Projects