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Microsoft and Brookfield to collaborate on 10.5GW renewable energy projects

Written by Thu 2 May 2024

Image Credit: Reuters

Microsoft, Brookfield Asset Management, and Brookfield Renewable have signed a five-year global deal to generate over 10.5GW of new renewable energy capacity.

In a bid to cut carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy, Microsoft is partnering to access renewable energy. This move aims to meet the rising demand for cloud computing fueled by the surge in artificial intelligence (AI), prompting tech giants like Microsoft to seek more electricity capacity.

General manager of renewables, carbon-free energy, and carbon dioxide removal at Microsoft, Adrian Anderson, said Microsoft wants to use its influence and purchasing power to create positive impact for all electricity consumers.

“This collaboration with Brookfield drives the innovative development of more diverse energy grids globally and contributes to delivering our goal of achieving 100% of our electricity consumption, 100% of the time, matched by zero-carbon energy purchases by 2030,” said Anderson.

As part of the agreement, there is a provision that can see more renewable energy being provided within the US and Europe, as well as in the Asia-Pacific, India, and Latin America. This major framework is almost eight times larger than the previous largest single corporate agreement, illustrating its massive scale.

An incentive has been created for Brookfield to construct a larger portfolio of renewable energy programmes over the next few years. According to the Brookfield press release, the deal is a ‘testament to [Brookfield’s] ability to reliably deliver clean power solutions at scale to our corporate partners and accelerate the energy transition’.

Brookfield has already delivered almost one gigawatt of renewable capacity to Microsoft, outside of the agreement.  While wind and solar will be focused on in the partnership, innovative carbon-free energy generation technologies will also be investigated.

In February, Caterpillar collaborated with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate the use of hydrogen fuel cells for sustainable and reliable backup power in data centres.

This trial underscores the potential of hydrogen technology to meet the stringent uptime requirements of modern data centres.

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Written by Thu 2 May 2024

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