Towards the end of 2020, Climeworks started work on the construction of its Orca plant in Iceland. Once operational in the spring of 2021, the plant should be able to filter out more than 4,000 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. This has all been made possible due to a technology developed by Climeworks. The captured CO2 will be pressed into the subsoil and permanently stored in the form of chemically stable minerals. Orca is designed to run on renewable electricity obtained from a nearby geothermal plant owned by the Icelandic energy company ON Power.
Microsoft is now investing in the construction of the new plant in Iceland via its Climate Innovation Fund, details of which can be found in a press release issued by the IT giant. The company is purchasing negative CO2 emissions from Climeworks in an attempt to permanently remove 1,400 metric tons of CO2 from the air around us. With this step, Microsoft is contributing to its goal of operating on a carbon negative basis by 2030. To achieve this, Microsoft is aiming to remove more CO2 from the atmosphere than it generates overall.
Climeworks was founded in 2009 as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). Its headquarters are also located in Zurich. The start-up’s vision centers on inspiring and motivating one billion people around the world to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.