Microsoft Announces New Wind Project To Power Data Center
Microsoft Microsoft has a notable investment in renewable energy, and to that extent it announced today it will purchase 175 megawatts of wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois, which is near Chicago, as part of a 20-year agreement. The project, which is funded in part by proceeds from Microsoft’s carbon fee, is the company’s largest wind investment to date.
The Project will generate enough electricity to power Microsoft’s data center in Chicago – or approximately 70,000 homes in Illinois. The Pilot Hill Wind Project is a 175 MW wind facility 60 miles from Chicago, IL, spanning the border of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and the wind farm is on the same electric grid that powers our datacenter in Chicago.
The investment follows Microsoft’s first and similar investment in renewable in November 2013 in Texas where Microsoft purchased 110 megawatts of wind energy from the Keechi Wind Farm. The announcement today solidifies the company’s commitment to taking significant action to shape our energy future by developing clean, low-cost sources, says Brian Janous, Microsoft’s director of energy strategy in a Microsoft blog post. He adds that “Microsoft is focused on transforming the energy supply chain for cloud services from the power plant to the chip. Commitments like Pilot Hill ensure a cleaner grid to supply energy to our datacenters.”
While Microsoft is notably signing these deals to reduce its carbon footprint, the use of wind farms to source energy isn’t just a benevolent move to help save the planet. By harnessing the power of wind, Microsoft will be able to reduce costs over time, which can help boost margins. It also doesn’t hurt that a cleaner, greener Microsoft will help increase the company’s reputation – a benefit that the company certainly could use as it faces massive job cuts, cultural shifts, and internal reorganization.