Microsoft announced on Monday a number of new deals with regard to renewable energy that have helped make its Cheyenne, WY datacenter run entire on wind power. The new investments are part of Microsoft’s plan to use 50% renewable energy by 2018.
The company announced that it has purchased an additional 237 megawatts of wind energy capacity, allowing it to run the Cheyenne data center completely on renewable energy, and bringing the company’s total wind capacity to 500 megawatts across the US.
Also of note is how Microsoft actually structured this deal and why the company believes it’s not only helping itself, but local communities. The most important aspect of this is that Microsoft partnered with Black Hills Energy to allow the energy supplier to use Microsoft’s datacenter as a secondary energy producer, through back-up natural gas-powered generators, when demand gets too high.
This, according to Microsoft, will keep the grid more stable, offer improved access, help out the power company which is now free to invest in renewables more, and most importantly, keep rates lower for the local community.
Earlier in the year Microsoft’ CEO Satya Nadella, and its President and Chief Legal Office, Brad Smith took the stage in London to talk about the company’s vision for the cloud and how it fits in a connected, green world. The company says this move, alongside others coming in the near future, are a step on that journey to sustainability and corporate responsibility.