Microsoft Corp. has announced a deal to purchase 100% of the wind energy generated from the Dutch Wieringermeer wind farm, which Vattenfall recently announced it would be repowering and expanding.
The wind farm will be constructed and operated by Nuon, part of Vattenfall in the Wieringermeer Polder, near Amsterdam. The company will replace older turbines with newer technology to a capacity of 180 MW by 2019.
The wind farm will be located adjacent to Microsoft’s Netherlands data center operations, serving as a regional hub to deliver Microsoft Cloud services to customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as global customers. With the latest expansion completed in 2015, the data center is a technologically advanced facility built to reduce water, power and energy use, says Microsoft.
“Investing in local clean energy to power our local data center is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands,” says Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft. “Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our data centers. By focusing on local projects, we’re able to create new economic opportunities, reduce carbon emissions and make progress on our global commitment to increase the amount of clean energy used to power the Microsoft Cloud.”
This project builds on the existing partnership between Vattenfall and Microsoft. Vattenfall relies on Microsoft Azure and other cloud-based tools to digitally transform its business operations, including renewable energy operations.
Nuon plans to expand the project to eventually include 100 wind turbines, allowing the production of approximately 1.3 billion kWh of renewable electricity. Nuon has partnered with local companies ECN and the Windcollectief Wieringermeer to lease lands and operate the turbines. However, this additional generation capacity will not become available until 2020.
“This is Microsoft’s second wind energy project in Europe, closely following a new Irish wind farm announced about a month ago,” says Christian Belady, general manager for Microsoft Cloud infrastructure and operations. “Once completed, this wind project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 800 MW. With these wind projects, we’re making considerable progress against the corporate clean energy commitments we set for ourselves in 2016.”