Microsoft Is Buying Solar Energy To Power Its Data Centres in Singapore


Microsoft, in furtherance to meeting its goal of using renewable source of energy for about 50% of its data centre needs, has brokered a deal to buy solar energy from Singaporean firm, Sunseap.

The deal, announced on Thursday by Microsoft, will mark the US tech firm’s first clean energy deal in Asia and the company’s third international clean energy deal, with following two wind deals announced in Ireland and The Netherlands in 2017. This is made up of a 60 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar portfolio which will span hundreds of rooftops across the Asia nation of Singapore. It is the largest rooftop solar project in Singapore and the first rooftop solar portfolio in the country focused on serving datacenter energy consumption.

Microsoft began operations in Singapore in 1990, and now has over 850 employees. In addition, Singapore is also home to Microsoft datacenter services that deliver Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and numerous other cloud services for customers. With such a stake, its no surprise the tech firm brokered the 20-year agreement, allowing it to purchase 100 percent of the renewable energy attributes to the grid.

You will recall Microsoft had in 2016 said, “Our goal is to pass the 50 percent milestone by the end of 2018, top 60 percent early in the next decade, and then to keep improving from there.” Once operational, the new solar project in Singapore will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to 860 megawatts, according to Christian Belady, general manager, Cloud Infrastructure Strategy and Architecture at Microsoft.

Microsoft was founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates on April 4, 1975. The American multinational technology company develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services.

Sunseap is Singapore’s largest clean energy provider, started by friends, Mr Frank Phuan and Mr Lawrence Wu, with the aim of delivering affordable and sustainable energy. Incorporated in 2011, Sunseap provides a one-stop service to clean energy solution, which encompasses elements such as funding, development, designing, engineering and construction. Sunseap’s unique positioning as both a licensed Electricity Wholesaler and Electricity Retailer under the Energy Market Authority (EMA) has enabled it to develop its 2 business models, solar leasing and clean electricity supply.

Sunseap Group is the largest clean energy solutions provider in Singapore, with a portfolio of projects that range from rooftop installations to floating photovoltaic (PV) systems. The group holds 3 entities, Sunseap Leasing, Sunseap International and Sunseap Energy. 2015 saw the inception of Sunseap Energy, the latest addition to Sunseap Group. Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd made waves when it announced in November ’15 that it will be providing tech giant – Apple’s operations in Singapore with 100% clean electricity, a first in South East Asia. Sunseap’s second business unit, Sunseap International is responsible for the group’s activities beyond Singapore.

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