Tech Giant Signs Its First Clean Energy Deal in Asia
Microsoft To Receive Solar Power from Singapore Rooftops
Following Apple Inc.’s initiative to go solar, Microsoft confirms its first ever renewable energy deal in Asia. The tech giant has partnered with Singaporean solar firm, Sunseap Group, for a planned 60 megawatt-peak solar portfolio. The 20-year contract will focus on serving datacenter energy consumption. Microsoft announced on their official blog that they purchased 100 percent of the renewable output from Sunseap’s rooftop solar project to power their datacenter operations in Singapore.
The tech company currently has over 850 employees working in datacenters that deliver Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and numerous other cloud services for customers.
The landmark solar project, which is the largest of its kind in Singapore to date, involves the installation of photovoltaic panels on hundreds of rooftops across the city-state. It is expected to generate up to 60 megawatts of solar power. One megawatt is enough to power an average of 164 American homes, according to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association).
Why rooftops? Because land is precious and property prices are ever-increasing in the country, Microsoft did not have a choice but to consider distributed generation. There was simply not enough space for utility-scale projects, particularly a solar power plant. They had to look at what is available and in Singapore, it’s rooftops.
Kevin Wo, managing director, Microsoft Singapore, shares that working with Sunseap will not only generate the power they need but also support the growth of local clean energy economy. “With the agreement, Microsoft will improve the sustainability of our local operations and make important progress toward our corporate sustainability goals for datacenters” he adds.
Work on the project has already begun and it is expected to be up and running by the end of the year. Once operational, it will increase Microsoft's total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to 860 megawatts. The tech company also closed two wind energy deals in Ireland and The Netherlands which will be operational by 2019.
Microsoft is one of the leading tech firms adopting renewable energy solutions. Apple, Facebook and Google have taken the same route towards sustainability, converting their energy use into clean power sources. This year, Microsoft is looking forward to exceed their goal of powering 50 percent of their global datacenter load with renewable energy.