Microsoft has signed deals to procure renewable energy in Texas.

Energy firm Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) this week announced that it has entered into two 200MW Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Microsoft.

Solar panels and horses
– Sebastian Moss

Through these PPAs, Microsoft will purchase the power generated from two 200MW LRE solar facilities currently under development in Texas: Morrow Lake Solar in Frio County, and Cradle Solar in Brazoria County.

“We are honored to collaborate with Microsoft in our joint commitment to accelerate the energy transition with the addition of these clean energy projects,” said Jason Allen, LRE CEO. “We look forward to strengthening our relationships with Frio County and Brazoria County as we develop and operate the two facilities and deliver substantial and transformative benefits for local residents and communities for years to come, all while we support US manufacturing.”

Red River, a joint venture of SunChase Power and Eolian, initiated development of Morrow Lake Solar in 2017. Construction at the Morrow Lake Solar facility – located on 2,000 acres 60 miles south of San Antonio along Interstate 35 – is underway and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Construction of the Cradle Solar facility is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024 and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2025. LRE said both projects will utilize First Solar’s photovoltaic solar modules.

“Morrow Lake would not have been possible without the commitment of our landowners or the ongoing support of local stakeholders,” said Will Furgeson, VP of SunChase Power.

“We are excited to partner with LRE to bring another solar project to Frio County and to bolster ERCOT’s supply of electricity production during the times when ERCOT most needs it – midday hours of the hottest days and most extreme weather conditions when system reliability is at a premium.”

LRE owns and operates a portfolio of 31 wind, solar, and energy storage facilities across the United States, totaling approximately 3GW of generating capacity. LRE is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of Canadian pension firm OMERS. Leeward has previously signed PPAs with Digital Realty, Amazon, and Verizon.

Microsoft is a major procurer of renewable energy to offset the energy demands of its data center portfolio. 2024 has seen the company sign a 125MW solar PPA in Ohio with Apex Clean Energy and put out a PPA request for innovative energy technologies alongside Google and Nucor.

2023 saw Microsoft sign renewable energy deals in Texas, Virginia, Washington, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand.