Microsoft to power Dutch data centre with wind power
Fri 3 Nov 2017
Microsoft has signed a ten-year agreement with Swedish electricity supply organisation Vattenfall to power its Netherlands data centre operations with wind power from the Nordic firm.
The terms of the agreement state that Microsoft will receive 100% of the energy produced at Vattenfall’s new onshore wind farm, set to be constructed at Wieringermeer polder (a low-lying tract of land), near Microsoft’s Dutch data centre. The wind farm is expected to be producing energy from 2019.
For Vattenfall, this deal represents its first wind power supply agreement to a data centre outside of the Nordics, and the largest data centre wind farm agreement, if measured purely on power. The Swedish state-owned firm already serves several data centres in the Nordics with renewable energy.
Its new wind farm is expected to ultimately consist of more than 100 mills, which should produce 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours, or enough to power around 370,000 households. The firm recently announced €200 million (approx. £178 million) of investment into the farm, which, once completed, will be one of the largest in the country.
Vattenfall CEO and president, Magnus Hall, said: “We are very glad and proud to be able to support Microsoft’s transition towards using fossil-free energy in their data centre operations.
“This deal is completely in line with our strategy to help all of our customers to power their lives in ever smarter ways and free from fossil fuel within one generation.”
Martijn Hagens, Vattenfall SVP for customers and solutions, added: “Our business customers, including the tech business, increasingly use wind or solar power to meet their renewable targets.
“We are ready to support customers in this ambition through a wide range of products – in this case by combining our own green production and energy solutions to help Microsoft deliver green IT.”
The expert view: No time to waste: warming homes using heat from data centres
Commenting on Microsoft’s decision to use renewable power for the site, Stijn Grove, managing director of the Dutch Data Center Association, said: “This is a very good thing. You see that the data centre industry is taking its role very seriously, including the huge players like Microsoft and others who have control of a larger part of the stack as they run their own cloud.
“I hope we hear more announcements that they will also use their waste energy to warm the greenhouses next to their data centre at the Agriport campus in Wieringermeer.”
Amsterdam, the Netherlands capital, is one of four major data centre hubs in Europe, alongside London, Paris and Frankfurt. Microsoft’s Dutch facility is a regional hub for the hyperscale IT provider’s cloud services, giving additional capacity for customers across the EMEA region.