Microsoft and ENGIE today announced both a long-term solar and wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA) that provides 24/7 supply in the United States and implementation of Darwin, energy software developed by ENGIE using the intelligent cloud services of Microsoft Azure to optimize performance of ENGIE’s wind, solar, and hybrid (wind + solar) renewable assets worldwide.
The renewable deal will see Microsoft purchase a total of 230 MW from two ENGIE projects in Texas, bringing Microsoft’s renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,900 MW. Microsoft will purchase the majority of the output from the new 200 MW Las Lomas wind project, which will be located in Starr & Zapata Counties in south Texas. Microsoft will also purchase 85 MW from the 200 MW Anson Solar Center project, which will be built in Jones County in central Texas. Both projects will be operated by ENGIE and are expected to come on-line in January 2021.
“ENGIE’s ambition is to work with our customers and communities to lead the transition to a zero-carbon world,” said Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, President and CEO, ENGIE North America and Executive Vice President in charge of ENGIE’s Global Renewable Business Line. “We are proud to support Microsoft in its plan to increasingly meet its energy needs with renewable power, and to do so in a highly customized way to meet 24/7 demand over many years.”
The relationship between ENGIE and Microsoft will not only add more clean energy to the grid in the United States, it also creates an example for how customers can procure it. This PPA includes an innovative volume firming agreement (VFA) that will convert the intermittent renewable energy supply into a fixed 24/7 power solution aligned with Microsoft’s energy needs.
In addition, ENGIE and Microsoft are advancing the digital transformation of the renewable energy sector. ENGIE’s Darwin software, currently deployed on more than 15,000 MW of assets globally, enables real-time plant monitoring and control, reporting, forecasting, performance monitoring, and predictive maintenance, among many other benefits. Darwin relies on the latest Microsoft Azure cloud, AI and IoT services. Darwin has already enabled ENGIE to increase plant availability and to enhance production performance of up to a few percent on some of its assets.
With renewable energy expected to be the largest single source of electricity growth in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), these kinds of data-driven solutions will become increasingly important. ENGIE alone has a program to build approximately 9,000 MW of new renewable energy projects from 2019-2021 globally, with 2,500 MW of new renewable capacity planned for North America. The company has an additional 10,000 MW of wind and solar projects in its broader development pipeline in the U.S. and Canada.
“Procuring more renewable energy helps to transform our operations, but when we pair that with Microsoft’s leading cloud and AI tools, we can transform the world,” said Brian Janous, General Manager of Energy and Sustainability at Microsoft. “This agreement with ENGIE is an exciting step towards a low-carbon future, driven by capital investments and enabled by data.”
About ENGIE North America
ENGIE North America Inc. offers a range of capabilities in the United States and Canada to help customers decarbonize, decentralize, and digitalize their operations. These include comprehensive services to help customers run their facilities more efficiently and optimize energy and other resource use and expense; clean power generation; energy storage; and retail energy supply that includes renewable, demand response, and on-bill financing options. Nearly 100% of the company’s power generation portfolio is low carbon or renewable. Globally, ENGIE is the largest independent power producer and a leading energy efficiency services provider in the world, employing 160,000 people. For more information on ENGIE North America, please visit our Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook pages or www.engie-na.com.
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