Swedish utility Vattenfall AB has signed a ten-year energy supply agreement with Microsoft, to power its cloud data center in the Netherlands.
Under the terms of the contract, Microsoft will buy 100 percent of the energy generated at a repowered and expanded wind farm that sits adjacent to its data center in Agriport, 50km outside of Amsterdam.
Tulips and turbines
Vattenfall subsidiary, Dutch utility Nuon, will build the 180MW expansion of the Wieringermeer wind farm.
Last year Vattenfall announced plans to regenerate the site, initially built in 2003, replacing 93 old turbines with 100 new, more efficient models, which it says will supply up to 1.3bn kWh, though the company had no ambition to do this before 2020.
With work on the expansion expected to begin early next year, the company now states that the site should be up and running sometime in 2019.
The deal is Microsoft’s second European investment in wind power this year, following a ten-year agreement with GE, which will see the company using all of the energy produced at a 37MW wind farm in County Kerry.
Additionally, the two companies will collaborate on energy storage research, having installed integrated batteries on all of Tullahennel farm turbines.
Microsoft has pledged to increase its direct use of renewable energy sources (as opposed to carbon credits and power purchasing agreements) to 50 percent by the end of 2018.
Though the Netherlands consumes over 100TWh of wind energy a year (according to BP), it still imports a large percentage of its wind energy in order to meet EU regulatory standards. In 2016, the country had a cumulative installed wind turbine capacity of 4,191MW.