Microsoft’s Future for More Power

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Microsoft plans to shift its focus to wind energy.

Timothy McCarter, Writer

Companies and billions of people use many types of computers, phones, and other sorts of electronics. It is not easy to keep all our electronics powered and ready for our usage.

Now, some companies are investing in innovative ways to produce energy. Microsoft is one of those companies. As stated on ABC-News, “As an effort to become carbon neutral, the Microsoft Company has made a 20 year deal to buy power from a new wind farm in Texas.” Microsoft is collaborating with RES Americas for this project.

Microsoft and RES Americas created this deal on November 4th, which “is being funded in part by money collected from a carbon fee. [A carbon fee] is a direct tax for every ton of carbon produced by them.”

RES Americas is spending $200 million for this project, which involves 55-turbine wind power. It is to begin in December, but they plan on having it done by June of 2015.

They don’t know how much they will be paying, but Microsoft estimated at least $10 million will be spent in the first year.

Microsoft stated that the wind energy produced by the wind turbine goes directly to the Texas power grid, but few people know where the electricity is coming from.

Having renewable sources of energy helps balance the use of supply coal, which produces dangerous amounts of carbon pollution.

Brian Janous, Microsoft’s Director of Energy Strategy, stated, “They want Microsoft’s data center in San Antonio to pay for some of the wind energy.”

Currently, Texas is one of the nation’s largest producers of wind energy. The majority of the power produced is from wide open fields and prairies.

The Keechi project, the name of the wind farm effort, is currently planned to be put in a densely populated area that should be about 60-70 miles from Fort Worth, Texas.

As noted by Shalini Ramanathan, vice president of development for RES, “Keechi will not only be connected to about 3,000 to 4,000 miles of high-voltage lines, but will also benefit because the lines will prevent congestion on the Texas power grid.”

According to ABC-News, Microsoft is currently looking for ways to create more effective data-storage systems and servers to improve software and other products that could make “green” buildings more resourceful and improve and develop a setup that lets servers function in warmer temperatures, allowing some data centers the capability to use natural air and water for cooling instead of traditional, power-hungry air conditioning units.”

In the years to come, how will this Keechi project effect the way other companies view wind energy?

Could this become the new face of every day energy in the future?