Tech giants are accustomed to being digital – and by extension, social – trendsetters. However, many tech companies are also taking the lead in renewable energy in general and wind energy in particular.
For example, in November 2017, Microsoft announced that it would purchase 100% of the wind energy produced by a 180-megawatt wind farm that will be built next to Microsoft’s data operations center in the Netherlands. This is considered one of the largest wind deals in the country, and when completed, will include 100 windmills.
Just two months earlier, Microsoft and General Electric announced a plan to partner on a wind project in Ireland. Microsoft agreed to purchase 100% of the wind energy generated by the 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm. Microsoft has four operational data centers in Dublin, and this 15-year agreement was actually the company’s first renewable energy acquisition outside of the U.S.
In 2016, Microsoft committed to improving its energy mix, maintaining carbon neutrality, and investing in new energy technologies. It backed up its talk. That same year, it invested in the Kansas-based Bloom Wind project (178 megawatts), and the Happy Jack and Silver Sage wind projects (59 megawatts) near its Wyoming data center. Earlier, in 2014, the Pilot Hill Wind Project was designed to power the data center in Chicago.