Last week Microsoft Corp. announced new agreements to boost clean energy and connectivity in Washington state. The two agreements with Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) will see Microsoft receive carbon-free electricity to power its Puget Sound campuses and partner with the PUD on broadband connectivity in Chelan County.
“This agreement provides much more than renewable energy for Microsoft — it’s an investment in new opportunities for communities in central Washington and the competitiveness of Washington state,” said Shelley McKinley, general manager, Technology and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft. “We’re proud to be powering our Puget Sound operations in a way that reduces carbon emissions, supports the clean energy sector and supports efforts to expand connectivity. We look forward to working with Chelan PUD to achieve these goals.”
Through the five-year power supply agreement, Microsoft will receive hydropower from Chelan PUD that meets the high bar for carbon-free and clean energy established in the direct access contract struck last year. It will also keep carbon-free power generated in Washington state within the state, delivering economic and environmental benefits for Chelan County, the greater Seattle area and the state.
No additional infrastructure is required in Chelan’s service area to be able to send power from Chelan PUD to Microsoft. Chelan PUD will work with Powerex Corp, of Vancouver, BC, who will provide real-time forecasting scheduling, and transmission services to assist the PUD in transmitting its carbon-free power from Chelan County to Microsoft’s headquarters.
The PUD and Microsoft also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on efforts to expand broadband service in the most challenging, most rural parts of Chelan County.
The power supply agreement directly enables this work, as revenues from the power sales will be used to fund hydropower reinvestment, broadband expansion and other benefits for Chelan County. Microsoft will bring technical assistance to this effort.