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Microsoft Corp. taps deeper into wind power
by Daniel J. Graeber
Redmond, Wash. (UPI) Nov 14, 2016

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Computing giant Microsoft Corp. said Monday it expanded its renewable energy footprint in the United States by adding more wind power to its portfolio.

The company said it was working through wind energy suppliers in Kansas and Wyoming to help cover the energy needs associated with some of its U.S. data centers. Combined, Microsoft said it was tapping into about 237 megawatts of wind power, which brings its total investments in U.S. wind to more than 500 MW.

"We are constantly looking for new ways to approach energy challenges and avenues of engagement with our utility partners," Christian Belady, a general manager of cloud infrastructure strategy and architecture at Microsoft, said in a statement.

Monday's announcement marks Microsoft's third and fourth wind energy agreements, the largest of which is associated with a 175 MW facility in Illinois.

Microsoft joins a growing list of U.S. companies tapping into a growing renewable energy market. Michigan automaker General Motors in September set a goal of getting all of its power across its entire global sector of operations from renewable energy by 2050.

The Detroit company said it expects to have around 3.5 percent of its electricity use come from renewable energy resources this year and is on pace to meet some of its 2020 objectives with the addition of wind-power projects deployed at four manufacturing operations.

Amazon Web Services, the technology infrastructure division of retailer Amazon, contracted Iberdrola Renewables to help build and operate a 208 megawatt wind farm in North Carolina last year and committed itself to getting 100 percent of its electricity needs from renewable resources, with the aim of meeting 40 percent of that goal by the end of this year.

Apple Inc. advanced its renewable energy footprint in tech-heavy North Carolina, pioneered by a solar-powered data center in 2013. The Solar Energy Industries Association said retailers from Verizon to IKEA have combined to provide one of the most solar-centric technology sectors in the country.

In March, Microsoft signed an agreement with the government of Virginia and utility company Dominion Energy to help put more solar power on the state grid.

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