Microsoft wants our wind farm energy

July 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:38 am

Microsoft wants our wind farm energy

Lee Provost
lprovost@daily-journal.com
815-937-3364

The Daily Journal

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A new owner of the former K4 Wind Farm in Kankakee and Iroquois counties has a very familiar name as its chief customer, the company announced Tuesday.

San Diego-base EDF Renewable Energy announced it is has secured majority ownership — 96 percent — of the first phase of the wind farm that is slated to be constructed this summer.

EDF also noted it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Microsoft Corporation, the computer and technology development giant, to purchase the power the 199-turbine wind farm will generate.

The project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 70,000 homes and should be producing power next year. The wind farm will be situated on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft’s Chicago area data center. Microsoft officials noted the wind energy will “help ensure a cleaner grid to supply energy to our data centers.”

The project’s first phase will include 61 turbines in Kankakee County and another 42 in Iroquois County. Construction is expected to begin in August.

Microsoft will purchase an estimated 675,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually for the next 20 years, EDF said, beginning in 2015.

This is the largest investment Microsoft has made in wind energy. The company signed a similar agreement in November to purchase energy from the Keechi Wind Project in Texas. That agreement involved less energy, however.

The Pilot Hill Wind Project, as the K4 Wind Farm is now called, has been in the works since 2008.

The project has a second phase, but no timeline of that portion of the development. The second phase would include 96 more turbines in the Kempton area in Ford County.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014 9:38 am.

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