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Microsoft acquires wind power for Dutch data centre

Tech giant Microsoft has signed a deal with Swedish energy company Vattenfall that will see it supply energy for Microsoft’s data centre in the Netherlands. The power will be supplied by a new onshore windfarm 40km north of Amsterdam.

The Wieringermeer facility will host a hundred wind turbines generating a combined 1.3bn kWh of electricity, enough to power about 370,000 homes. Vattenfall had already announced a €200m (£176.8m) investment in the facility, which will start producing renewable energy in 2019.

Through a statement, Microsoft General Manager of Energy Brian Janous said:

“Investing in local clean energy to power our local data centre is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands. Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our data centres.”

With the benefit of technological advances, greater economies of scale, and advanced lubricants like those supplied by Mobil distributors, onshore wind is an attractive option to meet the considerable energy demands of data centres in a sustainable fashion. Microsoft also recently agreed a deal with General Electric to supply wind-generated electricity for its Ireland-based cloud computing services.

Microsoft is not the only technology company looking to shore up its corporate responsibility by using wind energy for power-intensive operations. Online giant Amazon also announced in October that the Amazon Wind Farm Texas, its largest windfarm so far, had come online. Amazon expects this new farm to contribute more than a million MWh to the grid each year.

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