Microsoft announces largest corporate procurement of renewables


From pv magazine USA

Microsoft has signed the largest-ever corporate power purchase agreement (PPA) for renewable energy, signing on for more than 10.5 GW of capacity in the United States and Europe.

The projects are set to begin construction in 2026. BloombergNEF estimates that the portfolio will take over $11.5 billion to build. Microsoft and Brookfield said the deal is nearly eight times larger than any other single corporate renewable PPA.

The companies said the agreement will focus largely on solar and wind generation, but will also include “new or impactful carbon free energy generation technologies.”

“It is absolutely the largest single announcement for a corporate clean-power purchase agreement ever,” said BloombergNEF analyst Kyle Harrison. “It cements Microsoft as the second-largest corporate buyer of clean energy through PPAs, after Amazon.”

US power consumption has undergone minimal growth over the past two decades, but demand is ramping up quickly as datacenters supporting the development and operations of AI have enormous electricity requirements. Power generator Exelon Corp. projected a 900% increase in power demand in the Chicago area from planned data centers.

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Sharply increasing power requirements combined with corporate goals for clean energy adoption are expected to continue to generate demand for renewables. Microsoft plans to match all its electricity consumption with net-zero energy purchases by 2030.

Microsoft has been active in solar PPA procurement, securing two PPAs for 400 MW in Texas, and a 98 MW project in Louisiana. It also agreed to a 12 GW solar module procurement deal with Qcells, which includes engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services from the module provider over an eight-year period.

In addition to procuring renewable energy to lessen its emissions profile, Microsoft is taking steps to reduce the power demand of its data centers. The company is developing liquid-immersion cooling, grid-interactive uninterrupted power supply (UPS) batteries, and more.

Brookfield Renewable has undergone considerable growth in recent years. In 2023, it secured the largest merger and acquisition transaction in renewable energy, securing utility Duke Energy’s unregulated utility-scale commercial renewables business for $2.8 billion.

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