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Precise Consultants

Precise Consultants

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Microsoft, Google Turn To Wind Energy

Most of us thought trawling online to grab bargains during Black Friday last week was hectic but the good folk over at Vattenfall can put us all to shame. Not content with signing an innovative deal to power one of the world’s biggest technology companies using wind power alone, it’s also gone and made the largest order for offshore wind turbines in 2017.

The deal with Microsoft will see in excess of €200 million being invested into Vattenfall’s Wieringermeer wind farm, to “repower and expand” the facility, which will home 100 turbines. Expected to be online by 2019, the farm which will be constructed on land 40 kms north of Amsterdam, will generate enough renewable energy to power 370,000 homes. Or Microsoft’s international data centre operations.

"Investing in local clean energy to power our local data center is a win-win for our business and the Netherlands," Brian Janous, Microsoft's general manager of energy, said in a statement. "Microsoft is committed to bringing new renewable energy sources online to power our data centers."

Of course, this isn’t the first-time tech companies have shown an interest in clean energy. In 2018 several giants pledged to hit a 100 percent renewable energy goal. Having already invested in wind and solar energy since 2010 when it made a deal to purchase all the electricity from a 114 MW wind farm in Iowa, Google wanted to be the first. It recently announced it was on track to get there by the end of 2017.  

Vattenfall is now also working with Siemens Gamesa, on a landmark project to deliver 113 turbines for installation at three Danish developments. Related: Oil Majors Are Leading The Recovery Race

The company was awarded the tender to develop two coastal farms at Vesterhav Nord and Vesterhav Syd, as well as the Kriegers Flak 650 MW farm only last year. 72 of the Siemens Gamesa turbines will go to Kriegers Flak, with the rest split between the other two. The tenders for Kriegers Flak and Vesterhav Syd and Nord were won in 2016 at a world record low price of 0.050 EUR/kWh and 0.061 EUR/kWh, respectively.

The Swedish state utility firm expects it will invest around €1.7 billion on the total project which is anticipated will be on stream before 2022. The total estimated power is estimated to be close to 1 GW, making this deal not only the biggest offshore turbine order this year but also the biggest investment in renewable energy in the company’s history.

This is all good news for the company which had pledged to increase power generation from wind to 7 GW by 2025. It currently sits at around 2.6 GW. But the company is determined to move away from nuclear and coal-fired power sources.  And as the industry learns how to deal with bigger turbine sizes, with fewer foundations and cables being required which will speed up installation time – overall costs will inevitably come down too.

The head of Vattenfall Wind, Gunnar Groebler said: “This deal is further proof of Vattenfall’s firm commitment towards a fossil fuel-free future… A combined purchase gives us a lower price, which means that the construction costs for offshore wind power can be further reduced. We are pleased that we successfully procured ultramodern turbine technology for three of our largest offshore wind power projects. The use of 8MW state-of-the-art turbines, which are geared to site-specific requirements, once again shows how quickly and flexibly offshore technology is evolving.”

By Precise Consultants

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