Early this morning, Microsoft announced plans for its second European wind project in the Netherlands. The tech giant will be working with Vattenfall (one of Europe’s largest electricity and heat retail and producers) and will purchase 100 percent of the generated wind energy from a repowered and expanded wind farm that is adjacent to its local data center in the area.
Expansion of the wind farm will begin in 2018, and it is expected to go into operation in 2019. Microsoft is saying the farm will be "one of the largest onshore wind farms in the Netherlands," even bigger than the Princess Alexia wind farm inaugurated in 2013. The facility in the Netherlands is already advanced and was built to reduce water, power and energy use.
Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft, remarked on what the wind farm means for Microsoft and the Netherlands:
"Investing in local clean energy to power our local datacenter is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands...Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our datacenters. By focusing on local projects, we’re able to create new economic opportunities, reduce carbon emissions and make progress on our global commitment to increase the amount of clean energy used to power the Microsoft Cloud."
Since the wind farm is close to Microsoft's datacenters in the Netherlands, the company found it "particularly attractive." Energy generated from the wind turbines at the farm will directly power the data center with clean energy, and help Microsoft reach its goal of supporting the continued long-term growth of the cloud services delivered from the Netherlands and meeting clean energy commitments.
Nuon, part of Vattenfall plans to expand the project to include 100 windmills, allowing for the production of 1.3 billion kWh of renewable electricity. Nuon will lease lands and operate these turbines and will bring the generation capacity online by 2020.