Contact inks 10-year renewable energy agreement with Microsoft

Te Huka geothermal power station. Image credit: Contact Energy

Contact Energy Limited, a New Zealand-based electricity generator, has signed a 10-year renewable attribute purchase agreement to support the development of new renewable energy capacity in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in line with Microsoft’s sustainability commitments. 

As part of the agreement, Contact will offer Microsoft all the benefits of renewable energy produced by Contact’s brand-new 51.4 MW Te Huka Unit 3 geothermal power plant.

The deal also enabled Contact’s financial choice to start building the new Te Huka facility for generating renewable electricity, Contact revealed in an ASX announcement. 

Mike Fuge, CEO of Contact, believes that long-term commitments to the acquisition of renewable energy assets are a means to speed up the deployment of a new generation of renewables while directly tying a company’s environmental goals to practical solutions.

“Further development at Te Huka has always been on the cards. By entering this arrangement with Microsoft, Te Huka Unit 3 got the backing it needed, providing further confidence to develop this project.” Fuge noted.

He went on to say that the dedication of Microsoft demonstrates what businesses with energy-intensive facilities can do to encourage new renewable energy sources.

Moreover, Fuge said the deal demonstrates Contact’s dedication to entering renewable energy certificate contracts that are closely related to the expansion of new renewable power generation. 

The CEO said all of this is done to carry out the Contact26 strategy, which aims to improve Aotearoa New Zealand by driving the nation’s decarbonisation.

“This deal demonstrates the actions of two leading organisations aligning to create better outcomes both here in Aotearoa and globally,” Fuge concluded.

Vanessa Sorenson, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand, said the company was proud of the agreement and the sustainability alignment it provided.

“Microsoft has big plans in New Zealand. With the construction of the data centre region, this agreement aligns our New Zealand activities with Contact Energy’s presence and capabilities around geothermal in New Zealand and will further strengthen our transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. It will also support Microsoft’s 100/100/0 commitment,” she said.