- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft has struck a deal with Washington state’s largest energy utility allowing the software giant to buy its own power on the open market.

The Redmond, Washington-based company says the agreement would provide more flexibility and enable it to support more carbon-free power in the state.

The settlement filed Monday must be approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Under the agreement with Puget Sound Energy, Microsoft would buy its power supply and assume the costs and risks. PSE would deliver the power through its transmission lines.

Microsoft would pay a $23.6 million exit fee to PSE to ensure other ratepayers are not harmed by the move. The utility would return that money to customers.

In documents, Microsoft said it wants more flexibility to acquire more wind, solar and hydropower electricity, as well as to support innovative technologies.

The company has about 15 million square feet of office space in the Seattle region.

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