Microsoft widens its renewable energy commitment with wind farm deal in Illinois

Microsoft is set to purchase 175 megawatts of wind energy from the Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois, located about 60 miles south of Chicago, which will form a 20-year agreement. Moving forward with a more renewable focus on energy consumption, the goal is to power Microsoft's Chicago data center with the wind farm, following a similar deal in Texas back in 2013.

This deal is not only a bonus for Microsoft with regards to stable energy production and points from the general public, but it's also a major signing for EDF Renewable Energy, the company which owns the plant. This deal will ensure a long-term flow of revenue is secured to get the facility off the ground and operating. The plant will come online next year.

Microsoft also has ties to the Purus River in Brazil's Acre State, a rain forest conversation program, as well as covering its California campus rooftop with 2,288 solar panels. It's positive to see other tech companies like Apple going green too. Microsoft is attempting to go further by aiding others in research on how to become yet more energy efficient and rely less on non-renewable sources.

Check the full blog post for more details.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • New surface phones with solar recharging wow
  • Good idea, LG has phone with this feature
  • Wind farm and stable energy production..... There's a reason you don't see that in the same article too often ;). They'll be a big oil generator somewhere supplying on a calm day.
  • My neighbor installs batteries (container size batteries) next to wind mills that supply the energy when there is no enough wind.
  • That's even if the wind farm is ever actually brought online. These "green" energy stories are always must PR. They don't make economic sense currently, which doesn't play well in a capitalist society.
  • Incorrect. ;) Wind and solar are making economic sense in some cases. It is correct that in many places they don't yet make sense. A lot depends on assumptions of the calculus, obviously.
  • Nice one Microsoft. Going green is the way.
  • I wonder if EDF will charge them a "standing charge" :P (most of you won't get this lol), E.on and EDF are notorious in the UK for charging standing charges in developments using renewable or sustainable energy. Some months the standing charges are more than the bill if based on the actual units usage. i have seen bills with £40 of standing charges for a month, when the bill itself was £5 for that month in terms of usage. Maaaadness.
  • Pretty sure the general public as a whole could care less where the power comes from. They just want their data served up.
  • Perhaps, but I am also pretty sure that if asked, most would prefer to have it come from renewables.
  • Doubtful
  • If asked "fossil fuels, nuclear or renewable?"