Microsoft keeps going green with Azure cloud in Europe

Large wind farm silhouette

Microsoft has opened its second wind power facility in Europe, planning to generate enough power to feed the company's entire Dutch data centre network.

Redmond will buy 100% of the power generated from the 180MW Wieringermeer project wind farm, which is due to start construction next year. The wind farm, which will be located next to the company's Amsterdam-based data centre, is expected to be completed in 2019 and will be the biggest onshore wind project in the Netherlands.

"Microsoft is committed to using more renewable energy every year to power our cloud. Matching production and consumption of renewable energy so closely unlocks great transmission efficiencies for our operations," Brian Janous, general manager of energy at Microsoft, said in a blog post.

"And it also helps the communities in which we operate, by removing as much of our load as possible from the local grid and by supporting new construction and operations jobs associated with the projects."

The news comes hot on the heels of Microsoft's first European wind farm unveiling. Last month, Microsoft announced it would be partnering up with GE Renewable Energy to provide 37 megawatts of energy to the company's cloud operation in Ireland.

"Microsoft's goal is to reimagine how we source energy in a more efficient way to meet the needs of a 21st century digital economy, powered by renewable energy," Janous wrote in a blog post in October. "That's why this deal also includes a pilot project that adds battery-based energy storage to each wind turbine on the Tullahennel farm in County Kerry -- the first direct deployment of battery-turbine integration in Europe."

The Dutch wind farm will eventually produce 1.3 billion kWh of electricity, according to ZDNet, which is apparently enough to power 370,000 homes, although this full capacity won't be available until 2020.

"In addition to helping us meet our own corporate commitment to renewable energy and advancing a greener grid in Ireland and the Netherlands, these two new wind projects are designed to help the EU meet its ambitious 2030 targets for the reduction of carbon emissions across the region," Janous added.

Image source: Bigstock

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.