Brookfield, Microsoft ink largest renewables offtake agreement with 10.5GW of power

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Microsoft and Brookfield Renewable have signed a 10.5GW renewable offtake agreement in the US and Europe
The agreement between Microsoft and Brookfield Renewable covers nearly eight times more capacity than the largest corporate PPA previously signed. Image: Microsoft.

Renewables asset owner Brookfield Renewable has signed an energy framework agreement with tech giant Microsoft for over 10.5GW of renewable capacity.

Microsoft’s investment in the agreement would be north of US$10 billion, according to the Financial Times, and would power the company’s data centres. Under the terms of the deal, Brookfield will construct a new renewables portfolio to generate this contracted capacity between 2026 and 2030, across the US and Europe, that will include both solar and wind projects, alongside “new or impactful carbon free energy generation technologies.”

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There is also the potential to increase the scope of the agreement and deliver additional capacity within both the US and Europe and other markets, such as the Asia-Pacific region, India and Latin America.

Graph showing leading utility-scale solar developers. Credit: PV Tech

The renewables arm of Brookfield Asset Manager was one of the biggest utility-scale solar developers last year, with a portfolio of nearly 18GW of capacity either operational or under construction, as shown in the graph above.

According to a report from research firm Mercom Capital Group, Brookfield Renewable ranked first considering only operational and under construction capacity, falling to third when also considering contracted power. French utility TotalEnergies leads the world with over 41GW of capacity in operation, under construction and in contracted power.

Tech leading corporate PPAs

This is Microsoft’s latest offtake agreement this year, as it has already secured several solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) with developers Primergy (for 408MW), Recurrent Energy (127MW), Apex Clean Energy (125MW) and EDP Renewables (100MW).

Companies such as Microsoft, Meta, Amazon and Google have been leaders in the US corporate PPAs sector in recent years. With the ever-increasing buildout of data centres, which have high electricity consumption levels, tech companies have sought to secure agreements in order to reach their sustainable goals. Microsoft aims to have all its electricity consumption and all time to be powered through zero-carbon energy purchases by 2030.

Last year, Amazon, Meta and Google were among the largest offtakers of solar and wind globally, according to a recent report from BloombergNEF.

“As the global trend of digitalisation and the adoption of AI continues to drive growth in demand for electricity, we are thrilled to collaborate with Microsoft to support their customer demand with the build-out of over 10.5GW of renewable energy capacity,” said Connor Teskey, CEO of Brookfield Renewable and President of Brookfield Asset Management.

“This first of its kind agreement, which is almost eight times larger than the largest single corporate PPA ever signed, is a testament to our ability to reliably deliver clean power solutions at scale to our corporate partners and accelerate the energy transition.”

This offtake agreement covers ten times more capacity than the 1.1GW solar power purchase agreement signed by mining company Rio Tinto in Australia earlier this year with developer European Energy.

8 October 2024
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