OPG and Microsoft net-zero partnership includes hydropower clean energy credits

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership to tackle climate change and drive sustainable growth across Ontario. The companies will work together on initiatives focused on delivering innovative clean energy solutions and digital skilling programs.

Microsoft will procure Clean Energy Credits (CECs) sourced from OPG’s carbon-free hydro and nuclear assets in Ontario on an hourly basis. This will enable Microsoft to advance progress on its 100/100/0 by 2030 goal, whereby Microsoft is committed to powering its data centers globally with carbon-free energy, around the clock.

Revenue raised through the sale of CECs can be used to benefit ratepayers and support investments in new clean generation in the province, helping to meet increased demand for electricity to power economic growth.

The companies will also collaborate on several sustainability initiatives, including:

  • Co-developing an hourly energy matching platform that uses Microsoft Azure IoT and AI technology to match a customer’s power needs with local carbon-free energy sources.
  • OPG will use Microsoft’s Azure as its cloud platform to modernize applications, IT infrastructure and services. By accelerating migration to the cloud and transforming business operations, OPG will also reduce its carbon footprint.
  • OPG and Microsoft will explore digital co-innovation opportunities to accelerate OPG’s small modular reactor (SMR) program, with a goal of developing a service that other global energy providers can leverage in the future to deploy SMRs locally to fast-track clean energy solutions.

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In addition, under a recently signed memorandum of understanding, Microsoft and OPG will evaluate procurement of CECs associated with the carbon-free energy produced by the soon-to-be-constructed SMR at the Darlington New Nuclear Project site.

“This innovative partnership will not only spur economic development in Ontario but also serve as a model for other companies and jurisdictions to encourage use of clean hydro and nuclear power,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG president and chief executive officer. “As part of OPG’s Climate Change Plan, we committed to achieving net zero as a company by 2040 and to act as a catalyst for efficient economy-wide decarbonization. Ensuring industry has access to clean energy to offset emissions assists in meeting that goal.”

 “We can only address climate change by tackling the challenge collectively. Agreements like this one with OPG will help Microsoft move closer to achieving our sustainability commitments, including our goal of having 100 percent of our electricity consumption, 100 percent of the time, matched by zero carbon energy purchases by 2030.” said Chris Barry, president, Microsoft Canada. “Working closely with like-minded organizations like OPG, will help us move toward a more sustainable future, while continuing to power innovation in Ontario.”

OPG provides almost half the power for Canada’s largest province. The company owns and operates 66 hydroelectric, two nuclear and two thermal generating stations, as well as one solar facility. OPG also operates four natural gas-fired generating stations and owns and operates 86 hydroelectric stations in the U.S. under the Eagle Creek Renewable Energy banner.

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Author: Elizabeth Ingram

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