Microsoft signs PPA’s for new US$4.3 billion France data center investment

Home » Biggest projects » Microsoft signs PPA’s for new US$4.3 billion France data center investment

Microsoft has agreed to several power purchase agreements (PPA) in France that will provide renewable energy for their US$4.3 billion data center investment in the country. The tech giant has already announced plans to expand their data centers in Marseille and Paris. Additionally, they will be building a brand-new data centre in Mulhouse, located in eastern France, in the Grand Est region. The announcement was made in Versailles, at the Choose France Investment Summit, hosted by Emmanuel Macron, the French President.

Also Read: Amazon Plans $11B Investment for New Data Center in Indiana

Microsoft’s History in France

The company has had data centres in the country since 2017. Furthermore, it has been present in the country where it has operations since 1983. It currently employs over 2,100 people. This will be its largest investment in the country in its 41-year-long relationship with the country.

Building work on first data center of Interxion's new Paris campus complete - DCD

Goals for the Microsoft, France US$4.3 Billion Investment

Microsoft aims to increase both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cloud Technologies through the broad investment package. This will increase France’s competitiveness by fostering digital technology made in the country, boosting its economy and job market. The company will bring up to 25,000 of the most advanced GPU’s to the country by the end of 2025. Microsoft’s advanced computational infrastructure and AI platform services will enable organizations to develop, deploy, and use proprietary and open-source AI models and applications. It will also make Microsoft’s own AI-infused services like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Dynamics more broadly and locally accessible to French customers.

Also Read: Microsoft to invest $3.3B in AI data center campus in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin

“Business France welcomes Microsoft’s decision to locate its data centre in France to strengthen French sovereignty in artificial intelligence. This project is a perfect illustration of the agency’s commitment to supporting strategic projects in conjunction with local players. The establishment of this state-of-the-art data centre is a major milestone in the construction of an ambitious digital ecosystem”  said Laurent Saint Martin, General Manager of Business France.

Microsoft Azure's Data Center Locations: Regions and Availability Zones - Dgtl Infra

Details on the PPA

The first PPA was executed this month, and the company expects 100 MW of renewable energy projects online in the country by the end of the year. However, the details on the first PPA arrangement were not disclosed, and neither were details on the type of renewable energy procured.

“This major investment demonstrates a steadfast commitment to supporting digital innovation and economic growth in France. We are building state-of-the-art cloud and AI infrastructure, training people with AI skills, and supporting French startups as they use our technology with confidence to grow in a fair and responsible way,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith.

Other Aims

Furthermore, the company is coupling its infrastructure investment with a new goal to increase skills in the country. They aim to support skilling for 1 million people to help the country embrace the new AI era, with a specific focus on job seekers, students, SMBs and professional audiences. Microsoft and its partners will launch new training programs focused on building AI fluency for everyone and developing AI technical skills. They will also launch programs supporting AI business transformation, and promoting safe and responsible AI development. Their partners include government institutions, training services partners, non-profit organizations, universities and higher-education organizations.