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Four High-Tech Companies Unite to Buy Wind Energy in Texas.

Four High-Tech Companies Unite to Buy Wind Energy in Texas.   Energy and Environment, NOV 14, 2019, by Kate Zerrenner

The corporate sector is pushing renewable energy full steam ahead into the next phase. Apple, eBay, Samsung Austin Semiconductor and Sprint have announced a joint agreement to purchase power from a new wind farm in Texas owned by Apex Clean Energy. The wind farm, roughly located midway between San Antonio and El Paso, is expected to come online in 2021. A partnership like this, from several companies with offices in the Austin metro area, is an innovative way for companies to pool their energy demands and support larger-scale renewable energy projects. It brings down the cost to each partner company and enables more renewable energy to be brought onto the grid.

The 500-megawatt White Mesa Wind project is expected to begin operations during 2021 in Crockett County, Texas.

Apple also recently announced plans to open a new $1 billion office in Austin, a decision that will bring 15,000 jobs to the region. The tech giant already powers 100 percent of its global operations with renewable energy; for this project, Apple reached out to the other business partners to join its pursuit of additional renewables investment in Texas. Hence this strategy fits well with the other tech companies’ commitments; for example, eBay aims to reach 100 percent renewable energy at its offices and data centers by 2025.

In addition to bringing that additional 500 megawatts of wind power to the Texas grid, this investment by four market-leading brands focuses more attention to renewable energy’s potential. Though Texas is the top wind energy-producing state in the country, state lawmakers have repeatedly tried to limit its reach. Solar has only recently become a player in Texas despite the state’s vast capacity for this source of power. This increased deployment of solar is due more to market forces, including the drop in the price of solar compared to coal and natural gas, as well as the reality that coal no longer makes economic sense. Investments like the one announced by these companies will only help drive costs down further.


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