Microsoft Is Becoming a Renewable Energy Provider in Ireland

  • Microsoft Is Becoming a Renewable Energy Provider in Ireland

Microsoft Is Becoming a Renewable Energy Provider in Ireland

Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have built new data centers with energy efficiency in mind.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announces a 15-year power purchase agreement with General Electric (NYSE:GE) for wind energy in Ireland to support Microsoft Cloud services. Each turbine is expected to have an integrated battery and GE and Microsoft will test these batteries for finding out how they can be used capturing and storing excess energy.

The Tullahennel wind farm also incorporates ground-breaking battery technology created to capture and store generated power and later release it to the electricity grid. The project will add intermittent clean wind energy power source to the Irish grid.

"Once operational, the new wind project will bring Microsoft's total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 600 megawatts", the press release says. "Wind is now one of the most competitive sources of electricity on the market today, and we're excited about the capability to use data generated from these wind turbines, using the Predix platform, to maximize the output and value of this project", said Andres Isaza, CCO of GE Renewable Energy. GE pushed for the technology to be incorporated in the wind farm because it wanted to establish a European showcase project for the battery system before a wider commercial launch.

Parallel to this PPA agreement, Microsoft has also acquired an Irish energy supply license from GE which will allow the company to more easily grow and invest in Irish renewable energy over the coming years.

Microsoft's director of energy strategy, Brian Janous, told the Irish Independent that the company is still edging towards the 50pc target for 2018. ElectroRoute will act as the trading service provider for the supply company.

"ElectroRoute is delighted to work with Microsoft and GE to structure and manage the energy trading activities for the supply company", said Ronan Doherty, Chief Executive at ElectroRoute. The PPA builds on a strategic partnership between GE and Microsoft formed past year to make GE's Predix cloud-based data analysis platform available on Microsoft's Azure cloud for industrial businesses.

Once operational, the new wind project will bring Microsoft's total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 600 megawatts.

Facebook had recently partnered with Dominion Energy to supply green electricity to its data centre in Virginia from solar power plants.