Microsoft announced this week that it will purchase wind energy directly from the source. It signed a power purchase agreement for all of the energy coming from RES Americas’ Keechi Wind facility, a 110-MW project expected to be completed in 2015. Construction is set to begin on the project early next year.
According to Into the Wind, AWEA's Blog, Microsoft, which in the past has purchased renewable energy credits to offset its emissions, was quick to point out that its wind purchase will directly result in the addition of wind to the grid.
The announcement is directly connected to the company’s commitment, announced in 2012, to become carbon neutral. To achieve that goal, Microsoft established an internal carbon fee designed to steer it away from carbon-emitting energy sources and toward clean-energy technologies like wind power. A natural byproduct of the fee: a pot of cash, with which the company can make renewable energy purchases such as the PPA announced this week. Microsoft said the energy purchase will be funded in part by the carbon-fee funds. Microsoft, of course, is not the first tech giant to buy wind directly. During the last few years Google has steadily increased its wind power purchases and even made direct investments in projects....(Into the Wind)