WASHINGTON — Microsoft, together with Invenergy, a U.S.-based global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, announced that a 74-megawatt solar project will be built in North Carolina.

According to the release, the new project will deliver economic investment and jobs for Beaufort County, clean energy to Microsoft, and growth to the U.S. solar power industry.


Named the Wilkinson Solar Energy Center, the new facility will be constructed, owned and operated by privately-owned Invenergy, which has contracted more than 1,600 megawatts supporting corporate renewable customers.

[One megawatt provides enough power for some 164 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.]

North Carolina was chosen for the site of the project due to its ranking second in installed solar capacity among U.S. states.

With more than 256,620 modules, the Wilkinson Solar Energy Center will be among the largest solar installations in the state.

“When we invest in renewable energy, we are investing in the future — enabling sustainable growth of our business, of the clean energy sector and the local communities that benefit economically from Microsoft’s commitment to sustainability,” said Brian Janous, Microsoft’s general manager of Energy and Sustainability.

Via the 15-year power purchase agreement, Microsoft will become the sole user of the energy generated at the Wilkinson Solar Energy Center.

This represents Microsoft’s fourth power purchase agreement in the PJM Interconnection and will bring Microsoft’s total renewable energy portfolio to more than 1.3 gigawatts.

“Our work with companies like Invenergy is an integral step toward our goal of enabling a clean energy future for everyone. We are pleased our partnership will bring new solar resources to the PJM region,” continued Janous.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism