Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced today it has signed a power purchase agreement with RES Americas to acquire all the wind power from the Keechi Wind project 70 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, for 20 years.
Keechi Wind is a 110-megawatt facility that will begin construction early next year and is expected to start delivering power by 2015. The wind farm will feature 55 turbines that are to be supplied by Vestas Wind Systems, with most of the manufacturing done in Colorado. Microsoft has a data center in San Antonio that is on the same grid as the Keechi Wind plant. Since this is a new project, the energy created is in addition to existing power generation, which means the project will bring new clean energy to the Texas electric grid, according to a Microsoft press release.
Microsoft announced in 2012 that it was committed to becoming carbon neutral; it noted today that the new agreement "is a significant milestone in our commitment to carbon neutrality." Microsoft charges an internal carbon fee to its business for carbon usage, and part of the proceeds from that money will be used to fund this project.
The Environmental Protection Agency noted earlier this year that Microsoft was the second largest purchaser of green energy in the U.S., but Microsoft added today that "even with this degree of investment in renewable energy and efficiency, we recognize that we still have work to do."