Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsoft enters first clean energy deal in Asia

Steve Rogerson
March 14, 2018

An agreement with Sunseap Group marks Microsoft's first clean energy deal in Asia and will create the single-largest solar energy portfolio in Singapore to date.
This 60MW-peak solar portfolio will span hundreds of rooftops across the nation. This is the largest rooftop solar project in Singapore and the first rooftop solar portfolio in the country focused on serving data-centre energy consumption.
"Our cloud services are helping to power Singapore's digital transformation, and this agreement will ensure that transformation is increasingly powered by clean energy," said Kevin Wo, managing director for Microsoft in Singapore. "We're proud to work with Sunseap, the leading solar provider in Singapore, to support the growth of the local clean energy economy. With the agreement, Microsoft will improve the sustainability of our local operations and make important progress towards our corporate sustainability goals for data centres."
The investment in local solar energy builds on decades of Microsoft investment in Singapore and throughout the Apac region. Since it began operations in Singapore in 1990, Microsoft has sought to create local opportunity, growth and impact and supports the government's efforts to make Singapore a smart, green and liveable city. Singapore is also home to Microsoft data-centre services that deliver Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and numerous other cloud services for its customers.
"Sunseap is pleased to work with Microsoft on this landmark solar project,” said Lawrence Wu, co-founder and president of Sunseap. “We see exciting potential in our partnership with Microsoft to raise awareness within the tech industry of the importance of adopting renewable energy. Their investment in Singapore solar indicates a growing momentum for clean energy in the country and will further the positive ripple effect for organisations in Singapore to incorporate sustainability practices in their businesses."
Through a 20-year agreement, Microsoft will purchase all the renewable energy attributes exported to the grid. This landmark agreement also marks progress for Singapore in the renewables sector.
"This landmark agreement marks yet another milestone in Singapore's journey to grow the clean energy industry,” said Gian Yi-Hsen, executive director for cleantech at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). “We are seeing a distinctive trend of local and foreign companies using up to 100 per cent renewable energy to power their business operations, and Singapore is positioning itself to serve that need. EDB welcomes this latest agreement between Microsoft and Sunseap, which will help proliferate adoption of clean energy, and spur further innovation in new business models and technologies."
The agreement also solidifies Sunseap's position in the energy markets. Dominic Garetto, Sunseap's vice president of corporate origination and development based in California, added: "This contract, focused on serving Microsoft's data-centre operations, highlights how environmentally responsible energy buyers can lead Singapore's evolution as a global technology hub while fulfilling their sustainability goals. Microsoft also serves as a role model more broadly for leading corporate buyers pursuing clean energy strategies in Asia, and their support on this project inspires our work in Singapore and our operations throughout Asia as we now collaborate with our clients in multiple countries across the region."
Sunseap operates through three units: Sunseap Leasing, Sunseap International and Sunseap Energy. Sunseap Leasing is a solar leasing company. Sunseap International targets markets in the south-east Asian and Pacific regions. These include a 140MW-peak solar farm in India, a 10MWp solar farm in Cambodia, operations in Malaysia and active development work in Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and other markets. Sunseap Energy provides clean energy using off-site arrangements by drawing on solar systems within the group's portfolio of distributed generation assets.
"This deal is Microsoft's first renewable energy deal in Asia, and is our third international clean energy announcement, following two wind deals announced in Ireland and the Netherlands in 2017," said Christian Belady, general manager for cloud infrastructure at Microsoft. "We're on track to exceed our goal of powering 50 per cent of our global data-centre load with renewable energy this year. Once operational, the new solar project will bring Microsoft's total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to 860MW."