Last week, Microsoft revealed that it had purchased a 175-megawatt Chicago, Illinois wind farm—a 20-year agreement that represents the company’s biggest investment in renewable energy to date. Continuing its crusade against greenhouse gases, the company hopes that this purchase is a productive step in further reducing its carbon footprint. According to the Chicago Tribune, the software giant’s investment is expected to supply enough electricity to power up to 70,000 homes in Illinois.
Perhaps it was the straight C’s that Microsoft scored in Greenpeace’s “Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet” study that motivated it to take further action in utilizing green energy. After all, this latest wind farm purchase is almost 60 percent bigger than the company’s first PPA.
Other companies should take a page out of Microsoft’s environmental book. Microsoft recognizes that, as a responsible and environmentally conscious company, it shouldn’t settle for a C average. Rather, the company should be going above and beyond to reduce its carbon footprint and help create cleaner burning electricity.
The Pilot Hill Wind Project will reduce overall emissions associated with Microsoft facilities by providing a non-pollution source of energy, unlike conventional power. Yet this is not the only environmental project in place for Microsoft; the company’s Washington offices currently use hydropower as its primary source of energy and it’s datacenter in San Antonio, Texas uses recycled waste water for cooling.
The company hopes that the Pilot Hill Wind Project will be a major step in continuing its movement towards a reduced environmental footprint and carbon neutrality. The construction of the wind farm has begun and it is expected to be completed and in use by next year.