Microsoft has announced a new 74-megawatt solar commitment in North Carolina.
The tech giant is partnering with global sustainable energy solutions developer and operator Invenergy to deliver the project that will provide economic investment and jobs for beaufort County, clean energy for Microsoft, and growth for the US solar power industry.
Dubbed the Wilinson Solar Energy Center Project, it will be constructed, owned and operated by Invenergy in a 15-year power purchase agreement with Microsoft with the company being the sole offtaker of the energy generated at the Center.
This represents Microsoft’s fourth power purchase agreement in the PJM Interconnection and will bring Microsoft’s total renewable energy portfolio to more than 1.3 gigawatts.
“When we invest in renewable energy, we are investing in the future — enabling sustainable growth of our business, of the clean energy sector and the local communities that benefit economically from Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability,” says Microsoft Energy and Sustainability general manager Brian Janous.
“Our work with companies like Invenergy is an integral step toward our goal of enabling a clean energy future for everyone. We are pleased our partnership will bring new solar resources to the PJM region.”
The Wilkinson Solar Energy Center is expected to generate $20 million in local economic investment through tax payments, landowner lease payments, and wages and benefits for employees. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2019 and is estimated to create more than 500 jobs during construction.
“Invenergy is proud to work with leading corporate renewables customers like Microsoft to help them meet their operational and sustainability goals,” says Invenergy executive vice president and chief commercial officer Jim Shield.
“This investment in North Carolina reflects the increasingly compelling value of solar power for customers to meet their energy needs, while also creating economic development opportunities for local communities.”