Microsoft Data Centers in Texas to be Powered by Renewable Energy

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by | Sep 26, 2023

Select Microsoft data centers will be powered by renewable energy thanks to a new deal with ENGIE Energy Marketing.

The collaboration utilizes existing renewable energy contracts between the two companies and will help Microsoft achieve its goal of 100% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis by 2030. The deal enables Microsoft to match Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) data center load with clean power, the company said. 

ERCOT is the organization that operates Texas’ power grid. The organization has come under fire over the last few years due to its collapse during extreme weather events in the past.

During a deep freeze in 2021, the state’s electrical grids went down for many Texans, leading to a power crisis that ultimately resulted in the deaths of 246 people. Six members of ERCOT’s board of directors resigned after the crisis. This summer, ERCOT issued a weather alert as high temperatures set a new record demand for energy. 

Microsoft is one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy. The company has a 100/100/0 goal, meaning it aims to have 100% of electricity consumption, 100% of the time, matched by carbon-free energy purchases by 2030. Last year, Microsoft penned a 10-year deal with Climeworks to use direct air capture to remove 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ENGIE is a developer and owner of renewable power capacity that will source the energy from its portfolio of wind, solar, and battery projects in Texas. 

“Microsoft continues to be a leader in the market for corporate renewable energy procurement and a key alliance for ENGIE in the Net Zero energy transition,” Ken Robinson, ENGIE energy marketing N.A. president and CEO, said in a statement. ” We are proud to help them achieve their ambitions, where many other companies continue to struggle. Our goal is to grow our 24-7 hourly carbon-free matching program in key markets with electricity generated from zero-carbon energy sources including wind and solar.”

Under the terms of the deal, ENGIE is providing direct support for Microsoft’s decarbonization goals. 

“We are excited that this project has kicked off and will provide us meaningful insight into future hourly carbon free program design,” Adrian Anderson, Microsoft general manager, renewables and carbon free energy, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with ENGIE to meet our 100/100/0 goals.”

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