Microsoft Corp. has signed a 15-year agreement with General Electric (GE) to buy all the electricity from its new wind farm in Ireland. GE’s brand-new 37 megawatt Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry will support growing demand for Microsoft’s cloud services in the country and is an example of how major international corporations are shifting towards clean renewable energy.
The global transition to renewable and clean energy systems is crucial to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, designed to help the world avoid the worst impact of climate change.
“Our commitment will help bring new, clean energy to the Irish grid, and contains innovative elements that have the potential to grow the capacity, reliability and capability of the grid. This will make it easier to incorporate new clean power sources like wind energy, and that is good for the environment, for Ireland and for our company, “said Christian Belady, General Manager, Datacenter Strategy at Microsoft.
Once operational, the new wind project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 600 megawatts.
In addition to producing energy, the project will also produce data on energy storage as each turbine will have an integrated battery. Microsoft and GE will test how these batteries can be used to capture and store surplus energy, and then feed it back to the grid when necessary. This will be the first time that integrated batteries will be installed in wind turbines to store excess energy in Europe.
Andres Isaza, Chief Commercial Officer of GE Renewable Energy, said: “Wind is now one the most competitive sources of electricity on the market today, and we are excited about the capability to use data generated from these wind turbines to maximize the output and value of this project.”
Microsoft is also acquiring an Irish energy supply license from GE in order to grow and invest in renewable energy in Ireland over time.
As part of the deal, Microsoft has also signed an agreement with Dublin-based energy trading company ElectroRoute, which will provide energy trading services to Microsoft.
See the relevant Microsoft press release here.