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Microsoft to buy energy from GE’s Irish wind farm

CTBR Staff Writer Published 10 October 2017

Tech-giant Microsoft has agreed to buy energy generated from GE’s 37MW Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry, Ireland.

The power purchase agreement (PPA), which will run for 15 years, will  support Microsoft’s Cloud services in Ireland.

Dublin-based energy trading firm ElectroRoute has agreed to offer energy trading services to Microsoft as part of the agreement.

GE said the project will also generate data on energy storage. Each turbine will have a battery installed, which will be used to capture and store the energy. It will be then be given back to the grid, whenever necessary.

GE noted that it will be the first deployment of battery integration into wind turbines to store energy in Europe.

Commenting on the deal, Microsoft datacenter strategy general manager Christian Belady said:  “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.”

The PPA follows Microsoft and GE’s partnership announced last year. The wind farm will integrate GE’s Digital Wind Farm Technology that makes renewable energy outputs more reliable.

GE Renewable Energy chief commercial officer Andrès Isaza said: “This partnership with Microsoft expands GE’s considerable presence and investment in Ireland, where we already employ over 1,500 people and in particular in the renewable energy sector.

“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.”

In the recent years, several technology companies such as Apple, Google, and Facebook have been  focusing on powering their data centre or cloud operations using renewable energy sources.

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

Image: Microsoft and General Electric sign PPA for Irish wind farm. Photo: Courtesy of General Electric.