Windmills have powered The Netherlands since the 14th century, helping transform marshy lowlands into farmable land and enabling all manner of industrial development. These days, new windmills, in the form of wind turbines, are helping to power a new transformation towards clean, reliable energy in The Netherlands.
Today, Microsoft is proud to announce that these wind turbines will also be powering our cloud. We have signed an agreement to buy 100 percent of the output from a 180-megawatt wind project in partnership with Vattenfall. Construction on the Wieringermeer project will begin in 2018, and we expect it to be operational the following year. Once completed, it will be the largest onshore wind project in The Netherlands.
One of the things that is unique and exciting about this project is its location adjacent to our datacenter. Microsoft is committed to using more renewable energy every year to power our cloud. Matching production and consumption of renewable energy so closely unlocks great transmission efficiencies for our operations. And it also helps the communities in which we operate, by removing as much of our load as possible from the local grid and by supporting new construction and operations jobs associated with the projects.
We’re excited to continue to expand our renewable energy portfolio in Europe, as this deal comes just a month after our first European renewable energy deal announced in Ireland. In addition to helping us meet our own corporate commitment to renewable energy and advancing a greener grid in Ireland and The Netherlands, these two new wind projects are designed to help the E.U. meet its ambitious 2030 targets for the reduction of carbon emissions across the region.
To learn more about Microsoft’s environmental policy objectives in Europe, please see the Microsoft EU Policy Blog. You can also learn more about the new Netherlands wind project on the Microsoft News Centre Europe website.