Smart Energy Voices- Episode 91

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 91

Sustainability, Reliability, and Security While Managing Costs: A View from Microsoft & Constellation

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At Smart Energy Decisions’ recent Net Zero Forum, Michelle Lancaster, Microsoft’s Director of Global Sustainability Strategy and GTM, and Chuck Hanna, Vice President of National Accounts and Solutions Sales, gave a keynote discussing how Microsoft is working with Constellation to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy reliability – all while managing costs.


You'll want to hear this episode if you're interested in...

  • Sustainability and renewable energy partnerships [03:49]
  • Reliability in a growing industry [06:27]
  • Reducing the carbon footprint of data centers [10:12]
  • Technology partnerships for sustainability [16:06]
  • Energy policy and advocacy [20:10]
  • Sustainability management [24:07]


Collaboration of Microsoft and Constellation

As the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free energy, Constellation generates 178 million megawatt hours annually, contributing to 10% of the country’s total carbon-free energy. This is primarily attributed to Constellation’s cutting-edge nuclear fleet, which generates over 20,000 megawatts nationwide. Constellation has been working closely with Microsoft to advance the company’s sustainability goals.

Microsoft has set ambitious goals to be carbon-negative, water-positive, and zero waste inclusive of Scope 3 by 2030. Microsoft is implementing innovative strategies to meet its sustainability targets, such as matching energy usage with carbon-free energy 24/7, coordinating between purchased renewable energy and grid demand, and adding onsite solutions including battery storage and fuel cells. These initiatives align with Microsoft’s dedication to its “five nines” principle, ensuring uninterrupted access to data 99.999% of the time.

Better data management

At the heart of Microsoft’s sustainability efforts lies a fundamental shift from traditional manual reporting methods to a sophisticated, data-driven approach. Recognizing the limitations of static Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft has invested in a robust data management system that integrates diverse data sources, automates data collection, and provides real-time insights. By doing so, the company has transcended the mere act of reporting and transformed it into a dynamic process that offers deep business intelligence.

Data management is a complex yet pivotal aspect of sustainability planning, and Constellation and Microsoft are partnering to create a platform that tracks and reports resources for this type of planning.

Corporate involvement in energy policies

Microsoft’s engagement with energy policy recognizes the diverse energy landscapes across the U.S. The company’s approach involves policy education and outreach, advocating for the benefits of sustainable energy solutions for regional development. Microsoft has actively intervened where existing energy policies obstruct progress, exemplified by its efforts in Ohio to overcome legislative obstacles hindering solar and wind power projects. 

Microsoft’s increased involvement stems from the realization that its influential voice and substantial resources must be directed toward shaping energy policies. The company’s proactive stance emphasizes the necessity of corporate engagement early in policy discussions, advocating for increased support, reduced bureaucracy, and more funding. Such collaborative efforts involving both corporate and public sectors are essential to navigating the complex landscape of evolving energy policies.

Connect with Chuck Hanna

Chuck Hanna has extensive experience in the energy sector including competitive retail markets, wholesale markets, and transmission and distribution businesses. He serves as the Vice President of National Accounts and Solution Sales at Constellation. In this role, he leads a team of sales professionals in providing comprehensive energy solutions to commercial and industrial retail customers across the nation including two-thirds of the Fortune 100. This includes leadership and management of associations where Constellation is the endorsed energy supplier. With nearly 20 years of experience in the energy sector, Chuck has deep expertise in the energy markets and the long-term trajectory and forward-looking trends.

Prior to his current role, Chuck worked as Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Sales and East Regional Sales at Constellation Energy Company, which is the competitive retail business within Exelon Generation Company, LLC. Chuck was responsible for leading over 50 sales professionals across the Mid-Atlantic, New York, and New England electricity, natural gas, demand response, renewable energy, energy efficiency and other services directly to commercial and industrial customers. Prior to the merger of Exelon and Constellation, Chuck led the retail sales team for all regions at Exelon Energy. With experience in sales, marketing, and origination across many geographic regions.

He is a graduate of the University of Delaware where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He earned his Master of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Bath in England, which he attended as a Rotary Foundation Scholar.”

Connect with Michelle Lancaster

Michelle Lancaster currently leads Microsoft’s GTM, customer engagement, and product strategy for sustainability. In this role, she has helped scope and close customer agreements focused on decarbonization, driving $500M+ revenue; launched a global seller training and customer engagement program; shaped the company’s product roadmap and initial SKUs on sustainability solutions; formed and launched strategic partnerships including Transform to Net Zero; and most recently, led the creation of Microsoft’s first sustainability report.


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