Microsoft has revealed that it has acquired all the electricity which will be generated by General Electric at the Tullahenel wind farm located in Ireland for the coming 15 years. About 37 megawatts (MW) of energy will be produced at the wind project. The electricity from the wind farm will be used to power data centers located in Ireland that are owned by the software giant.
Microsoft also inked a deal with ElectroRoute, an energy trading firm based in Dublin, which will offer the software maker energy trading services. Once the wind project becomes operational, Microsoft’s combined direct procurement of renewable energy will rise to hit a level of almost 600 MW.
Energy storage data
Besides generating energy, the wind farm will produce energy storage data. On each turbine there will be an integrated battery which General Electric and Microsoft will test to see how they can be used in capturing and storing excess energy. This will offer a way of providing more reliable power to an Irish grid that is increasingly going green by smoothing out valleys and peaks in wind energy generation. All across Europe this will be the continent’s first time to have energy storage systems being integrated into wind turbines.
“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,” said Microsoft’s Datacenter Strategy general manager Christian Belady.
Last year Microsoft inked a strategic partnership agreement with General Electric and the power purchase agreement is building on that. General Electric’s wind energy technology will be integrated into the wind farm and this will ensure that the energy output from the project is more reliable. The wind energy technology of General Electric encompasses digital models which are based on Predix and this ensures that the energy generated can meet the projected demand and thus reduce intermittency concerns.
Energy supply license
Additionally Microsoft is also buying an energy supply license for Ireland from General Electric and this will be of benefit to the power grid in the European country as well as to Microsoft. This is because it will allow the largest software firm in the world to have the flexibility needed to grow as well as invest in Ireland-based green energy projects.
Besides the wind energy deal with General Electric Microsoft also has other sustainability projects it has initiated in Ireland. This includes investments that have been made to boost energy efficiency. Earlier in the year Microsoft also announced a forestry initiative.