EDF Energies Nouvelles announced that it acquired a 96% via its U.S. subsidiary EDF Renewable Energy, a 175 MW wind project Orion Energy Group and Energy Vision LCC.

This project, Pilot Hill, located in Illinois, has a contract of 20-year power sales with Microsoft Corporation. Located 96 miles southwest of Chicago, the future wind farm will be connected to the electricity grid that powers the Microsoft data center, based in Chicago.

The turbines will be supplied by General Electric (GE) and Vestas.

Site construction should begin soon for commissioning in the first quarter of 2015.

“Direct support their renewable energy supply by iconic organizations like Microsoft is an encouraging trend. This investment in the wind sector allows these companies to reduce their carbon footprint and control their energy costs in the long term,” said Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President of EDF Renewable Energy.

For Microsoft, the purchase of renewable energy through the Pilot Hill wind project to date is its biggest investment. The agreement with EDF EN will the U.S. firm to buy 675,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, enough to meet the needs of 70,000 homes in Illinois.

“By buying ‘wind’, we will reduce the total emissions from the operation of installations of Microsoft and hopefully stimulate additional investment in renewable energy. Because the Chicago data center is powered by the network electric Illinois, projects such as Pilot Hill will help provide a clean energy source, “said computer giant said in a statement.

“Microsoft is focused on the transformation of the energy supply chain for cloud services, central to the chip,” said Brian Janous, director of energy strategy at Microsoft. “This type of commitment ensures injection ‘clean’ the network to power our data centers.”

“As the cost of renewable energy continues to decline, it is encouraging to see large corporations invest in the sector based not only on their desire to have a positive impact on the environment, but also because it is good for business, “added Ryan Pfaff.

This agreement is funded in part by the internal carbon tax to Microsoft. It encourages the various divisions of the company to offset their carbon emissions.

** With 5.7 GW of renewable projects developed across the United States, Canada and Mexico, EDF Energies Nouvelles is one of the largest developers of renewable energy in North America.

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