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Industry News

Microsoft purchases massive amounts of wind energy
Writer:Brian Fagioli  

The folks over at Microsoft seem to be very committed to doing "good". Not only does the company produce products that make the world better (Windows, Skype, and Office to name a few), but through its noble Winsiders4Good initiative, Dona Sarkar and other Microsoft employees are aiming to improve people's lives using technology.

Today, Microsoft announces yet another way that it is helping humanity. The Windows-maker makes its "largest ever" purchase of wind energy -- 237 megawatts. In other words, the company will be using less fossil fuels, and reducing its overall carbon footprint.

"Microsoft has contracted with Allianz Risk Transfer (ART) to fix its long-term energy costs and purchase the environmental attributes connected with the new, 178-megawatt Bloom Wind project in Kansas. The project is the first to use a novel structure developed by ART and designed to offset high upfront costs associated with the creation of large-scale wind projects. Microsoft is the first buyer to participate in this structure, which has the potential to bring clean energy projects online at a faster pace", says Microsoft.

The Windows-maker further says that it has "contracted with Black Hills Corp. subsidiary Black Hills Energy, under a long-term agreement, to purchase 59 megawatts of renewable energy certificates from the Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind projects, which are adjacent to Microsoft' Cheyenne, Wyoming, datacenter. The combined output of the Bloom and Happy Jack/Silver Sage projects will produce enough energy on an annual basis to cover the annual energy used at the datacenter".

As stated earlier, these two deals combined equals a massive 237 megawatts. This is not Microsoft's first wind rodeo, however. Besides these new deals, it was already committed to at least 263 megawatts.

While using wind is not necessarily the most financially sound investment, it is certainly better for the Earth's environment and climate. It seems Microsoft is putting the Earth before profits, and that rocks! The Windows-maker deserves major kudos, not only for its investment in alternative energy, but investing in our planet's overall future too.