On the heels of a positive fiscal forecast, Microsoft was named Green Power Partner of the Year (GPPY) by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The GPPY award is given to companies that make substantial efforts in reducing their carbon footprint by using natural resources like sun, water, and wind (green power) to power its business and overall energy strategy. Microsoft's chief environmental strategist, Rob Bernard, explains Microsoft's green energy efforts:
“Microsoft remains dedicated to driving ever-greater energy efficiency across our business, while also increasing our purchases of green power and making long-term purchase agreements to power our facilities with local renewable energy. We have been 100 percent powered by renewable energy since 2014, and we are pleased to accept this award for the third time."
In addition to gains in solar power, hydroelectricity, and energy-efficient buildings, Microsoft has made two huge strides in wind power in the last few years.
- Pilot Hill Wind Project: In 2014, Microsoft bought 175 megawatts of wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois. Now, there is enough energy to power Microsoft's Chicago datacenter, plus 70,000 Illinois homes.
- Keechi Wind Project: In 2013, Microsoft signed a 20-year agreement to buy the 110-megawatt Keechi Wind project, a new wind farm in Texas, which began operating this year (2015).
Microsoft is involved in a wide array of energy preservation efforts; building more solar power in Silicon Valley, building in areas with hydroelectric power access, and cutting energy use in its offices around the world. In 2015, Microsoft bought more than 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy.
Read more about Microsoft's GPPY award and their other energy-related efforts at the Microsoft Green Blog.