Corporate America wants wind power

In a trend that started nearly two years ago, businesses of all stripes continue to power more of their operations using wind energy. From tech companies to automakers, there has been demand for wind from customers across the board.

And this month has brought more prominent examples.

Demand for wind continues

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced its largest wind purchase ever. The tech giant signed power purchase deals to buy electricity from wind farms in Kansas and Wyoming, enough to satisfy all of its electricity demand at a Cheyenne, Wyo. data center. With these agreements in hand, Microsoft has now bought electricity from four different wind farms.

There was also big news at the start of November. Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, already powered 25 percent of its operations using renewable energy last year. On Nov. 4, the company announced that moving forward, it wants to increase that number to 50 percent within the next decade. Wind power will play an important role in hitting that milestone.

Bloomberg corporate buyers chart

What they’re saying

What’s driving companies to make the switch to renewables? While dozens of businesses have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy, and many more have internal sustainability goals, this is a decision increasingly motivated by finances.

“Companies are investing in sustainability, not because they’re making a political statement, but because they have a fiduciary duty to protect shareholders and make money,” says Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres.

Corporatebuyers release photo

The long-term energy price stability businesses can realize by purchasing wind power is critical.

“The deals let companies hedge exposure to volatile natural gas and coal prices, which have historically determined wholesale power prices in the U.S. As wind and solar get cheaper, companies are able to lock in renewable power for less than the average wholesale power price,” Swami Venkataraman, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, recently explained to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, speaking about the company’s pledge to go 100 percent renewable energy.

With companies like Nike, BMW and Coca-Cola having pledged to go 100 percent renewable energy, we can expect wind power purchase announcements to continue for the foreseeable future. While we wait for the next one, hear about these deals straight from the source:

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