Microsoft’s partnership with clean energy solution provider Fotowatio Renewable Ventures Australia (FRV Australia) is progressing with plans for its new Walla Walla Solar Farm in New South Wales, Australia.
Microsoft and FRV signed the 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2021. The agreement helped FRV secure funding for the solar farm project, allowing Microsoft to take steps towards its 100/100/0 commitment, which is to match 100 per cent of its electricity consumption with zero-carbon energy purchases by 2030.
The solar farm will have a peak power capacity of around 300 megawatts and will be connected to the national energy grid. This will also help Microsoft reach its goal of shifting to 100 per cent renewable energy supplies in its data centres, buildings and campuses by 2025.
“Transitioning to a decarbonised energy grid won’t happen overnight,” said Brett Shoemaker, chief sustainability officer for Microsoft Australia. “However, PPAs are one way for Microsoft to play its part in accelerating this transition and power more of our data centres with renewable energy. Buying through PPAs that make a long-term commitment helps raise the financing needed to bring new electricity generation online.”
Microsoft has also been working to introduce advanced water-cooling features, minimise reliance on diesel fuel and reduce embodied carbon in construction in efforts to make its data centres more sustainable.