Microsoft to buy and use 100 percent of power from Texas wind farm

Microsoft's efforts to look into new ways to conserve and use energy at its facilities will enter a new era in the next few years, as the company intends to use all of the energy made from an upcoming large wind farm located 70 miles northwest of Forth Worth, Texas.

Today's announcement reveals that Microsoft has entered into a 20 year agreement with RES Americas that will result in Microsoft buying and using 100 percent of the power generated by the Keechi Wind Farm Project. The construction of the 55 wind turbines on the site is expected to start in early 2014 and be completed by 2015. When all of the turbines are up and running, they will result in the creation of 110 megawatts of power, enough to light up 55,000 typical homes.

The energy from the wind farm will be used to help power a Microsoft owned data center in San Antonio. The press release states, "By purchasing wind, we will reduce the overall amount of emissions associated with operating Microsoft facilities in this region and hopefully spur additional investment in renewable energy in Texas."

This is not the first time Microsoft has ventured into using renewable energy to power their data centers. The company announced in 2012 it will be using local biogas to power a small facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company has also been using building management systems to help control energy use in its Redmond, Washington campus.

Source: Microsoft| Image via Microsoft

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26 Comments

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Spicoli said,
These are just PR moves. It's not like the run a cable right from the wind farm.

It's not solely a PR move ... You should become more familiar with how the electricity market works (i.e., electricity trading). It is obviously done in part to improve their image with the environmental community, but they still have to purchase their electricity from somewhere, even though they may not be "running a cable right from the wind farm"

Spicoli said,
I am familiar with how it works. You pay them and they give the rights to use their name in your marketing. It really has nothing to do with buying electricity.

when we buy electric here from a 3rd party, we pay that 3rd party for electric used not our local company... there for we are buying eclectic from that company... now we still have to pay the local line company for transmission fees..... but they in turn buy electric from other companies... so yes you are buying electric from someone else, it's not just marketing.....

What name you write on a check makes no difference to the delivery of the power, so it's just money shuffling. The only reason to shuffle part of your money to this place is for the PR.

But since they entered into an agreement for 20 years with the supplier, its a lot less money being shuffled than if they paid the "clean"-coal supplier. So it isn't all about PR.

They're setting a good example. Heck, if wind/solar energy options were more affordable, I'd be supplementing my own electrical service.

Well - not in the first years also wonder how long it takes for them to run until they have produced more power than the production of those things took

It still has quite the hefty up front cost, but honestly, if you have the money, it can be well worth the investment. There are many tax incentives/credits that can aid you with this too.

Furthermore, you're not just looking at the potential for free electricity, but also being able to sell back to the grid whatever excess power you may create from your panels. At least, that's what I've gathered anyway.

Well in Germany you are not using your own energy at all. you sell everything to the power supplier for a fix amount of cash for 20 years and you keep on using the energy like before.

power utility company should feel pretty small right now. Hefty chunk of electric bill not going to PUC.

EvilAstroboy said,
That would be a nice little source of income right there

-adrian- said,
Well in Germany you are not using your own energy at all. you sell everything to the power supplier for a fix amount of cash for 20 years and you keep on using the energy like before.

Interesting. So do you see anything back from that? Like... can the income you generate from said electricity outweigh the cost of what you actually use?

dead.cell said,

Interesting. So do you see anything back from that? Like... can the income you generate from said electricity outweigh the cost of what you actually use?

Search for Feed in tariff or (FIT) most EU members pay you for your own energy generation. in the UK its 16 ish pence per a Kwh

DrakeN2k said,

Search for Feed in tariff or (FIT) most EU members pay you for your own energy generation. in the UK its 16 ish pence per a Kwh


Not in NL. Here your own power is free and you only give back the excesses.

DrakeN2k said,

I did say "most".


ye ok, didn't know it was EU legislation, usually we're following those like little dogs.
and its not some backwater country but right in the middle of the ones mentioned already

Well in Germany you get more money from the company than you spend for the energy - so why would I not sell everything and buy the cheaper one