Microsoft has signed a 15-year long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with renewable energy developer Invenergy, to buy power from the 74MW Wilkinson Solar Energy Center project.


Image: Microsoft to buy solar energy from Invenergy. Photo: Courtesy of gregroose/Pixabay.

Invenergy is building the Wilkinson Solar Energy Center project at Beaufort County, North Carolina. The solar project is expected to create nearly 500 jobs during the construction phase. It will also generate nearly $20m in tax revenues for the county, once the operations begin later this year.

Microsoft will be the sole buyer of energy from the project and it is the fourth power purchase agreement of the tech-giant in the PJM Interconnection, bringing Microsoft’s total renewable energy portfolio to more than 1.3GW.

Microsoft energy and sustainability general manager Brian Janous said: “When we invest in renewable energy, we are investing in the future — enabling sustainable growth of our business, of the clean energy sector and the local communities that benefit economically from Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability.

“Our work with companies like Invenergy is an integral step toward our goal of enabling a clean energy future for everyone. We are pleased our partnership will bring new solar resources to the PJM region.”

Invenergy executive vice president and chief commercial officer Jim Shield said: “Invenergy is proud to work with leading corporate renewables customers like Microsoft to help them meet their operational and sustainability goals.

“This investment in North Carolina reflects the increasingly compelling value of solar power for customers to meet their energy needs, while also creating economic development opportunities for local communities.”

Invenergy claims to have developed over 22.2GW of projects, including wind, solar, and natural gas power generation as well as advanced energy storage projects.

In January, Invenergy started commercial operations at Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,485MW natural-gas fired combined-cycle power plant in Pennsylvania.

Constructed just outside of Scranton, the Lackawanna Energy Center produces enough electricity to meet the power consumption needs of more than a million American households. The natural gas fuel to the Lackawanna power plant is supplied by Cabot Oil & Gas.