Mar 22, 2018

Microsoft set to purchase 315MW solar power from Virginia

Sophie Chapman
1 min
Microsoft to purchase solar power from the Pleinmont I and II facilities
The Washington-based technology company, Microsoft Corporation, has announced that is will be purchasing 315MW of renewable energy from two p...

The Washington-based technology company, Microsoft Corporation, has announced that is will be purchasing 315MW of renewable energy from two plants in Virginia.

The deal will see the firm receive power from two new solar facilities – the Pleinmont I and II.

CNBC reported Microsoft calling the deal “the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States.”

sPower, an AES and AIMCo business, is opening the Pleinmont solar sites as part of a larger renewable project, with 500MW of capacity.


Between Pleinmont I and II, the sites will have more than 75,000 solar panels spanning across 2,000 acres of land.

“This project is our second solar agreement in Virginia and allows our Virginia data centers to be powered fully by solar energy,” CNBC reported Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, stating.

The firm’s total of purchased renewable energy has now reached 1.2GW.

“When companies like Microsoft invest in Virginia solar, they opt for clean and reliable energy as well as new jobs in the energy economy we are working hard to build,” commented Ralph Norman, Governor of Virginia, CNBC claims.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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