Tech giant Microsoft has entered into an agreement with Danish renewable energy firm Orsted to purchase power from a solar farm in Fort Bend County, which will capable of generating up to 430 megawatt hours.
Orsted said the farm, on about 2,800 acres of private property near the city of Needville, should be operating by summer 2022. Microsoft will support the farm through renewable energy certificates, or RECs. One REC is created when a renewable power generator puts one megawatt hour of electricity onto the grid. When Microsoft uses one kilowatt hour of power, one kilowatt hour will be retired from the REC. One megawatt hour is enough to power about 200 homes on a hot summer day.
While the energy won’t flow directly to Microsoft’s Texas offices, it will add more power to the state’s electrical grid. Adrian Anderson, senior director of renewable energy at Microsoft, said the type of collaboration between Orsted and Microsoft will be fundamental in the company’s journey to being 100 percent powered by renewable energy.
“We're grateful for our collaboration with Orsted to deliver renewable energy in ERCOT and look forward to continued progress towards a net-zero carbon future,” Anderson said.
Orsted also recently announced it has finished work on the company's largest onshore wind project, the Western Trail Wind Farm, also located in Texas. That project consists of 130 wind turbines in Wilbarger and Baylor counties just west of Wichita Falls, and can produce 367 megawatts of power.