Microsoft Corp. announced on March 6 the completion of its first renewable energy deal within India for its Bengaluru office. This is the firm’s first solar energy agreement in India, and one of the first in Asia.
Microsoft has signed an agreement with Atria Power to purchase 3 megawatts of solar-powered electricity to help power its new office building in Bengaluru. This will meet 80 per cent of the projected electricity needs at the new facility. This deal is part of a program by the state government of Karnataka to encourage investments in local solar energy operations, in line with the larger Indian government goal to ramp up solar power generation to 100 gigawatts by 2022.
“Investing in local solar energy to help power our new Bangalore office building is good for Microsoft, good for India and good for the environment,” Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, said in a statement. “We are proud to be deepening our long history of partnership and investment in India with this agreement. This deal will help us grow sustainably and supports the growth of the Indian solar energy industry, so that the entire country can more easily and reliably access clean electricity.”
Once the project is completed, it will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts. The company also signed a new solar agreement in Singapore last week and has wind projects in Europe and a “substantial portfolio” in the United States. It aims to rely on wind, solar and hydropower electricity for at least 50 percent of its energy usage worldwide by the end of 2018.
“Microsoft, like India, has ambitious commitments to use more renewable energy,” Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist, Microsoft, said in a statement “By purchasing local solar power to meet some of our local electricity needs, we’re not only meeting our goals but also supporting the growth of local clean energy industries. This growth leads to more clean electricity capacity, which will help India meet its targets for the Paris Agreement, reduce carbon emissions and provide clean electricity to its growing population. We’re proud to play a small role in this Indian energy transformation.”
Microsoft, which has an Indian American CEO — Satya Nadela — announced in December 2017 that it would build a cricket field as part of a plan to overhaul its 500-acre campus in Redmond, Washington State. It plans to come up with 18 new buildings, new public spaces, and transportation facilities, besides the cricket field.