Microsoft, Puget Sound reach clean power deal - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Commercial, Finance, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 18, 2017

Microsoft reaches utility deal to purchase clean power

In a move meant to support its corporate climate and renewable energy goals, Microsoft Corp. has reached a settlement with Washington utility Puget Sound Energy to allow the tech giant to purchase clean energy from the wholesale market. 

The settlement, reached by Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and seven other parties, remains subject to the approval of the commission. Pursuant to a special contract between Microsoft and Puget Sound Energy, Microsoft agreed to limit its wholesale market purchases to carbon neutral and renewable energy sources resources; maintain its contributions to the utility's energy efficiency program; and pay a $23.6 million transition fee, intended to ensure that the deal does not negatively impact the utility's other customers. 

Puget Sound Energy in October 2016 filed a tariff to create a new retail service for large industrial or commercial customers that could acquire energy from alternative power suppliers, according to an April 12 statement from the utility commission. Along with commission staff, Puget Sound Energy and Microsoft, the Public Counsel Unit of the Attorney General's Office, the Kroger Co., The Energy Project, the Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition, Sam's West Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities, and the NW Energy Coalition signed the agreement.

The agreement signals an effort on the part of Puget Sound Energy to work collaboratively with its large commercial and industrial customers to help them meet internal energy goals. Along with other large technology companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple, Microsoft has been working diligently to maintain climate neutrality for its data centers and increase the amount of renewable energy used to power its operations through varied and often innovative methods. 

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