Microsoft Signs Major Wind Power PPA

microsoftwindfarm

Microsoft has announced a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy all of the energy produced by the 110MW Keechi Wind Farm project.
   
Located approximately 110 kilometres northwest of Ft. Worth, Texas, near the town of Jacksboro; construction of the Keechi Wind Farm facility will commence early next year and the power station will begin operations in 2015.
  
The wind farm will be populated by 55 wind turbines, to be manufactured by Vestas.
   
As part of the company’s commitment to become carbon neutral, Microsoft developed an internal “carbon fee”. This fee was designed to increase the company’s costs for using carbon-based forms of energy; making the purchase of renewable energy more attractive.
  
“By placing a dollar value on a metric ton of carbon, Microsoft is building environmental sustainability into our long term business planning and creating a blueprint for more purchases of renewable energy like this one.” 
 
Microsoft points out this isn’t the company’s first foray into clean energy.
  
” For example, our Silicon Valley campus installed a solar power system in 2004 that offsets as much as 15 percent of our energy needs,” says an announcement about the wind investment.
  
” This year the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Microsoft as the second largest purchaser of green power in the U.S., and we doubled our purchase of renewable energy from 1.1 billion kWh to 2.3 billion kWh.”
  
Microsoft is also currently building its first zero carbon data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming that will be powered by fuel cells operating on energy generated by biogas from a nearby water treatment plant.
  
The Keechi Wind Farm project will generate enough power to supply the needs of  55,000 energy-hungry Texas homes.
    
While usually more strongly associated with oil, Texas is a wind energy stronghold in the USA, with more wind capacity than any other U.S. state. Its 12.2 gigawatts of capacity provides 9.2 percent of all electricity generated in the state.
   
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