Hydro, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 15, 2019

Microsoft signs 5-year hydropower deal in WA

Microsoft Corp. announced new agreements to boost clean energy and connectivity in Washington state. The two agreements with Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) will see Microsoft receive carbon-free electricity to power its Puget Sound campuses and partner with the PUD on broadband connectivity in Chelan County.  

Through the five-year power supply agreement, Microsoft will receive hydropower from Chelan PUD that meets the high bar for carbon-free and clean energy established in the direct access contract struck last year. It will also keep carbon-free power generated in Washington state within the state, delivering economic and environmental benefits for Chelan County, the greater Seattle area and the state, according to a statement from Microsoft. 

"This agreement provides much more than renewable energy for Microsoft — it's an investment in new opportunities for communities in central Washington and the competitiveness of Washington state," said Shelley McKinley, general manager, Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft. "We're proud to be powering our Puget Sound operations in a way that reduces carbon emissions, supports the clean energy sector and supports efforts to expand connectivity. We look forward to working with Chelan PUD to achieve these goals." 

The two organizations also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on efforts to expand broadband service in the most challenging, most rural parts of Chelan County. The power supply agreement directly enables this work, as revenues from the power sales will be used to fund hydropower reinvestment, broadband expansion and other benefits for Chelan County. Microsoft will bring technical assistance to this effort, supporting Chelan PUD's desire to expand technology access to remote parts of Chelan County.

In addition, Microsoft is in the final stages of negotiating an additional renewable energy purchase agreement that would see the company contract for output of a new wind or solar resource in the state, expected to be sited and operational within the next five years.

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