Microsoft Strives for a Carbon-Free Future. A Setback in Fargo Shows the Hard Reality.

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Hours after Microsoft Corp. pledged to eliminate its carbon emissions within a decade earlier this month, the company was forced to fire up fossil fuel generators to power its corporate campus in Fargo, N.D.

The software giant ran the diesel-burning machines for about five hours to keep the lights and heat on for 1,600 employees. It is one of about 100 big companies in the Fargo region ordered to do so by the local electric cooperative, which faced high demand for power. Microsoft receives a significant discount on its electricity...

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