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Microsoft, Brookfield to develop more than 10.5 gigawatts of renewable energy

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Narayana Nadella speaks at a live Microsoft event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 26, 2016.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Microsoft has signed a deal with Brookfield Asset Management to invest more than $10 billion to develop renewable energy capacity to power the growing demand for artificial intelligence and data centers, the companies announced on Wednesday.

Brookfield will deliver 10.5 gigawatts of renewable energy for Microsoft between 2026 and 2030 in the U.S. and Europe under the agreement. The companies described the deal as the largest single electricity purchase agreement signed between two corporate partners.

The 10.5 gigawatts of renewable capacity is 3 times larger than the 3.5 gigawatts of electricity consumed by data centers in Northern Virginia, the largest data center market market in the world.

A Brookfield spokesperson said the deal would lead to more than $10 billion of investment in renewable energy.

The scope of the deal could increase to include additional energy capacity in the U.S. and Europe, as well as Asia, Latin America and India, the companies said. The agreement will focus on wind, solar and new carbon-free technologies.

The U.S. faces surging electricity demand as the advent of AI coincides with the expansion of semiconductor and battery manufacturing in the U.S., as well as the electrification of the nation’s vehicle fleet. After a decade of flat growth, total electricity consumption in the U.S. is expected to surge by 20% through the end of the decade, according to an April Wells Fargo Research note.

Microsoft has pledged to have 100% of its electricity matched by zero-carbon energy purchases by 2030.

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