(Updates with Eneco comment)

 

By Dieter Holger

 

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has agreed to purchase wind power from Netherlands-based Eneco to supply clean energy to its data centers in Holland for 15 years starting in 2022.

The American tech giant will purchase 12% of the energy from the 731.5-megawatt offshore wind project Borssele III/IV, it said Thursday. When reached for comment, an Eneco spokesman said the company couldn't disclose the value of the deal with Microsoft.

Eneco owns the wind farm along with a consortium of other companies including Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN). Shell and Eneco have an agreement to each sell one half of the power the project generates.

The deal is Microsoft's second purchase of wind energy in the Netherlands in a year and its 14th such agreement overall, bringing the company's green energy portfolio to above 1.5 gigawatts.

"Tech companies are facing the challenge to reduce their carbon footprints, mostly due to the vast energy consumption of their data centers," said Eneco's Hans Peters, chief customer officer at the privately-owned Dutch company.

Data centers consumed around 1% of the world's electricity in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency, and although IP traffic and workloads are expected to double, global data center energy demand is set to stay flat thanks to improved efficiency.

The tech industry has rapidly bought renewable power in response to the expected growth. In 2015, information technology companies accounted for more than half of renewable-power purchase agreements, according to the IEA.

"Our purchasing of renewable energy helps improve the sustainability of our operations and local grids," said Brian Janous, general manager for energy and sustainability at Microsoft.

 

Write to Dieter Holger at dieter.holger@dowjones.com; @dieterholger

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 23, 2019 10:30 ET (14:30 GMT)

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