The computer company said that it has agreed to purchase renewable power - wind power and power generated with landfill gases - to run its 2.1 million-square-foot headquarters in Round Rock, Texas.
The company declined to say how much it will pay for 80 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power each year. Renewable energy tends to cost at least half a cent more per kilowatt-hour than other forms of power, meaning Dell could initially pay about $400,000 extra. But Dell officials say that by the end of the three-year contract, prices for power generated by natural gas will be higher than power from renewable sources.
"For us, that's the beauty of green energy. Because the source, especially in our landfill, is predictable and stable," said Dane Parker, Dell's director of global environment, health and safety.
Forty percent of the electricity for Dell headquarters will come from a Waste Management landfill in Austin. The sanitation company is tapping many of its landfills for methane and using the methane to run power generators. The rest of Dell's power will come from windmills and will be supplied by TXU Energy, the retail arm of Energy Future Holdings.
Dell is also buying more renewable power from Austin Energy to run its Austin Parmer Campus.
It will increase renewable power to 17 percent from 8 percent.