Vattenfall to Power Microsoft Hub in the Netherlands

The two companies signed a 10-year contract to power Microsoft’s data center located near Amsterdam. The 180-megawatt wind farm will begin construction in 2018 and is anticipated to start producing renewable energy in 2019.

Ray Wind Farm Photo courtesy of Mike Davies via Vattenfall.com
Ray Wind Farm
Photo courtesy of Mike Davies via Vattenfall.com

Microsoft Corp. announced its second European wind project in the Netherlands with Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest electricity and heat retail and producers. The two signed a 10-year agreement to power Microsoft’s international data center operations in the Netherlands. The deal marks Vattenfall’s first transaction through which it powers a data center outside the Nordic countries.

“We are very glad and proud to be able to support Microsoft’s transition toward using fossil-free energy in its data center operations,” Magnus Hall, president & CEO of Vattenfall, said in prepared remarks. “This deal is completely in line with our strategy to help all our customers power their lives in ever smarter ways and free from fossil fuel within one generation.”

As per the agreement, Microsoft will receive the entire energy output from Vattenfall’s new 180-megawatt onshore wind farm that will be built in 2018 at Wieringermeer Polder, near Microsoft’s data center in the Netherlands. This data center serves as a regional hub that delivers Microsoft Cloud services to customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The wind farm is anticipated to start producing renewable energy in 2019.

Room to grow

Swinford Wind Farm Photo courtesy of Ian Thomas via Vattenfall.com
Swinford Wind Farm
Photo courtesy of Ian Thomas via Vattenfall.com

The facility will be built and operated by Nuon, who plans to expand the project to eventually include 100 windmills. This will allow the production of approximately 1.3 kilowatt hour of renewable energy, sufficient to power around 370,000 households. Nuon has partnered with ECN and Windcollectief Wieringermeer to lease lands and operate the turbines. However, this additional generation capacity will not become available until 2020.

“This is Microsoft’s second wind energy project in Europe, closely following a new Irish wind farm announced about a month ago,” said Christian Belady, general manager, Microsoft Cloud Infrastructure and Operations, Microsoft. “Once completed, this wind project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 800 megawatts. With these wind projects, we’re making considerable progress against the corporate clean energy commitments we set for ourselves in 2016.”