Microsoft Announces Largest Wind Project to Date

July 17, 2014 By Karen Henry

MSWindTurbine-energy-manageMicrosoft has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy in Illinois. The Pilot Hill Wind Project is the company’s second PPA and its largest wind investment to date, according to a Microsoft blog post.

Microsoft signed its first long-term (20-year) PPA for wind energy in 2013, purchasing 110 MW of wind energy from the Keechi Wind Project in Texas. At 175 MW, the Pilot Hill Wind Project is nearly 60 percent larger than Keechi.

The agreement with EDF Renewable Energy will see Microsoft purchase up to an estimated 675,000 MWh of renewable energy from Pilot Hill Wind Project each year. The Pilot Hill Wind Project is a 175 MW wind facility 60 miles from Chicago, Ill., spanning the border of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. The wind farm is on the same electric grid that powers Microsoft’s data center in Chicago. Construction on the project has already begun and will begin delivering green power in 2015.

Because this is a new project, the energy generated at Pilot Hill is additional, which means it will bring new renewable energy onto the Illinois electric grid, Microsoft said in its blog post. Because the Chicago data center draws power from the Illinois power grid, the Pilot Hill project will help to provide a non-polluting source of energy that displaces greenhouse
gas emissions from conventional power.

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