Salesforce announced a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables for 80 megawatts of wind power from a new facility in Illinois, the San Francisco-based cloud computing company announced today. The deal represents their largest commitment to renewable energy to date.
The wind power will come from EDP Renewables’ Bright Stalk project, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. By 2022, Salesforce aims to reach 100% renewable energy. This year the company says it’s halfway toward reaching that target.
“Today’s announcement is a critical step toward our goal in powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2022,” said Suzanne DiBianca, Salesforce executive vice president of corporate relations and chief philanthropy officer. “All of our commitments reinforce the notion that businesses are an important platform for change and should operate in a way that protects our planet for future generations.”
The 5,000-acre Bright Stalk wind farm is expected to have a generating capacity of 200 megawatts, Charlie Schlenker reported for NPR affiliate GLT News in January.
Previously Salesforce signed two other wind power agreements — one that added 125,000 megawatt-hours of energy annually from a wind farm in West Virginia, and one that added 102,000-megawatt hours annually from Texas.
In April 2017, the company began offering a carbon-neutral cloud for its more than 150,000 customers, and announced that it had achieved net-zero greenhouse gas emissions globally. They followed a three-step process: avoid, reduce, and mitigate. For example, Salesforce says the multi-tenant architecture of their platform is 50 times more carbon and energy efficient than on-premise software, allowing the company to avoid 2 million metric tons of emissions in 2016 alone.
Starting in June 2018, Salesforce’s three office buildings at their global headquarters in San Francisco started sourcing 100% renewable energy and were pursuing LEED platinum certification.