Microsoft will purchase all the energy generated by the solar portfolio that will delivered in the coming years

Sol Systems

Sol Systems partners with Microsoft to develop 500MW solar portfolio. (Credit: Unsplash/Red Zeppelin)

Sol Systems, a solar developer, has partnered with tech giant Microsoft on a new initiative for the development of 500MW solar projects in the US.

As part of the initiative, Sol Systems and Microsoft will invest up to $50m in communities that are impacted by climate change. The investments and grants will support educational programmes, job and career training, habitat restoration and programs supporting the access to clean energy and energy efficiency.

Sol Systems CEO and co-founder, Yuri Horwitz said: “This marks a groundbreaking commitment by Microsoft, Sol Systems, and our employees to invest in our communities and drive economic recovery.

“This is a unique approach to couple clean energy with community development and investment.”

Microsoft aims to source 100% of renewable energy by 2025

The two companies claimed to have designed the solar portfolio to maximise their environmental, community and societal impact. The programme will also help the tech giant in sourcing 100% of renewable energy to power its operations by 2025.

As part of the initiative, Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate a portfolio of more than 500MW of solar plants in the US.

Microsoft will purchase all the energy generated by the solar portfolio, which is expected to delivered in phases in the coming years.

Microsoft chief environmental officer Lucas Joppa said: “We recognize that climate and environmental issues don’t impact every community the same way and we need to address environmental equity as a broader issue. Our work with Sol Systems is a first-of-its-kind initiative tying the purchasing of renewable energy to environmental justice and equity in under-resourced communities.

“What makes this partnership unique is that we will be working with local leaders, prioritizing minority and women-owned businesses and making community-lead grants and investments.”

Last September, Sol Systems, through Helios Infrastructure fund, its joint venture with Nationwide, completed financing and construction of a solar portfolio with eight projects totalling 48.4MW in North Carolina.

The projects were part of the 135MW acquisition announced in 2018 in the state. The portfolio was acquired from Cypress Creek Renewables.