Microsoft has made a deal with Vattenfall which will see the latter supply the software maker with offshore wind turbines. The Redmond, Washington-based tech company will invest approximately 200 million euros in the Wieringermeer wind farm and the power generated from the facility is expected to come online in two years.
Electricity generated from the facility which be put about 40 kilometers from the Dutch city of Amsterdam will be enough to power approximately 370,000 households but will be used to power the tech giant’s data center located in the Netherlands which offers cloud computing services to clients in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
“Investing in local clean energy to power our local data center is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands. Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our data centers,” said the energy general manager at Microsoft, Brian Janous, in a statement.
In 2018 a couple of tech firms have indicated plans to increase their consumption of renewable energy to 100%. This includes Google which has disclosed that its plans could be achieved by the end of this year.
Microsoft’s deal with Vattenfall comes at a time when the largest software company in the world is planning on renovating and expanding its Redmond campus in a project that will cost billions of dollars.
In the next couple of tears Microsoft will put up 18 new buildings in addition to the 80 that already exist. Some existing buildings will be renovated with a view to giving them a modern look that is common at tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. Microsoft has been trying to cultivate a collaborative environment which requires opens spaces and this will see some of the buildings where some employees have their own individual offices replaced.
Recruiting and retaining employees
The project will lead to the addition of 2.5 million square feet of space while space measuring 6.7 million square feet will be renovated. Once completed there will be room for an additional 8,000 employees. In Puget Sound, Microsoft employs about 47,000 workers.
Part of the reason for modernizing its facilities is because of the steep competition Microsoft has been facing with regards to recruiting and retaining employees in the face of startups that are coming up as well as established players such as Amazon which is rapidly expanding in nearby Seattle. Travel technology firm Expedia is also considering moving to Seattle.