GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables - July 14, 2021
Microsoft’s 100/100/0 Vision
Microsoft announced on July 14 a 100/100/0 commitment to have 100% of its electricity consumption, 100 percent of the time, matched by zero carbon energy purchases by 2030.
In a July 14 blog post, Microsoft’s Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental office and Noelle Walsh, VCP, Clout Operations + Innovation explained, “We call this a vision because we alone can’t control the outcome. Like other users, our datacenters and our offices around the world simply plug into the local grid, consuming energy from a vast pool of electrons generated from near and far, from a wide variety of sources. So while we can’t control how our energy is made, we can influence the way that we purchase our energy.”
Noting that the company is already one of the world’s largest purchasers of renewable energy – counting some 7.8 gigawatts of operating and contracted renewable energy projects – its next steps acknowledge they can do more. “How much zero carbon energy we procure is important in helping decarbonize the grid, but so too is where, when and from whom we make our purchases. Moving forward we will be innovating our energy purchasing contracting to help bring more zero carbon energy onto the grid and move more high carbon intensity energy off the grid, helping to rebalance the carbon intensity of any grid on which we operate. We will match our purchasing of zero carbon energy with our consumption on an hourly basis. And we will do so on the same grid systems into which we are already connected.”
Toward that end, the company has partnered with REsurety to create an LME (Locational Marginal Emissions) tool on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform that calculates the decarbonization impact of its renewable energy supply with greater accuracy. A pilot in ERCOT is underway.
Microsoft has also executed more than 35 PPAs, including a contract for a 250 MW portfolio of solar projects with Volt Energy, a national African American-owned solar development company, with the goal of creating new opportunities for under-resourced communities and to help pursue diversity in the renewable energy industry.
Among their building management efforts, Microsoft received zero carbon certifications for their Puget Sound and Silicon Vally campuses. A state-of-the-art Thermal Energy Center was unveiled at their Redmond, Washington campus, which leverages geothermal wells to efficiently heat and cool campus via zero carbon electricity.
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