Microsoft leads the ranks of corporations buying solar energy

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Microsoft solar energy

Software maker, Microsoft, announced in March that it would purchase 315 megawatts (MW) of solar energy from two new solar facilities.

The company, whose CEO, Satya Nadella, recently shared an email with its employees over a reshuffle in its leadership, said it will purchase the photovoltaic energy in Virginia, United States.

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Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, said in a statement that this is the second solar agreement in Virginia, which will then allow their data centers in the state to be powered fully by solar energy.

The company’s total directly purchased renewable energy currently stands at 1.2 gigawatts (GW), which Smith says is enough to light 100 million LED bulbs.

According to Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance Corporate PPA Deal Tracker, this move by the tech giant places it at number 2 among companies investing in clean energy this year.

via Bloomberg

Earlier this year, the leading buyer, AT&T Inc., made a similar announcement to buy 520MW of wind energy, which keeps it at the top of the ranks of companies buying clean energy.

Microsoft described this deal as ‘the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States’.

The deal will see the company purchase energy from Pleinmont I and II sites as part of a larger project of 500MW, and when operational, this project will have more than 750,000 solar panels spanning more than 2,000 acres.

Other energy deals Microsoft has agreed to include the recent renewable energy deals in Asia, for which it agreed to buy all the output from a 60MW solar project in Singapore, and later agreed to purchase another 3MW of solar-powered electricity from India.

This comes at a time when shifting environmental policies are threatening the economics of renewable energy from the U.S. to Europe, and has seen companies, including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., snapping up more clean energy than ever before.

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