Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Microsoft Inks a Deal for Wind Power from GE in Ireland

Microsoft Inks a Deal for Wind Power from GE in Ireland

Building on the strategic partnership between Microsoft and General Electric (GE) announced previous year, the two firm's yesterday said they had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the County Kerry wind farm project. GE and Microsoft will jointly measure and assess how effectively the facility's batteries can be charged from the turbines and the excess stored for later use or sent directly into the grid.

This will make it easier to enable intermittent sources of clean power such as wind energy, into the Irish electrical grid, said Microsoft through a press release. In what is claimed to be the first use of integrated batteries in wind turbines in Europe, the brand new power plant will have battery energy storage built into each of the turbines.

The deal is notable not only because it gives Microsoft msft sustainable power for its cloud operations in Ireland-the base for the company's European operations-but because of the nature of the equipment itself, and the implications thereof. All a part of the company's commitment to building a "responsible cloud for global good" in Europe, under the new agreement, 37 megawatts of clean energy will be added to the Irish electric grid. The deal also makes Microsoft the first multinational tech firm to support a new wind project in the country.

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"Microsoft is proud to be deepening our long history of investment and partnership in Ireland with this agreement", said Christian Belady, general manager, Datacenter Strategy at Microsoft.

In September, Google made an announcement for its premier Cloud Platform area in South America, where both Amazon and Microsoft already have been providing cloud services for a number of years. Isaza also pointed out that wind energy has become one of the most competitive sources of renewed energy in the market. The wind farm in Ireland will utilize GE's Predix-based Digital Wind Farm technology. This will all bring more flexibility and allow for the growth and investment in renewable energy in Ireland over the next few years.

Microsoft is also acquiring an Irish energy supply license from GE. ElectroRoute will act as trading service provider for the supply company. In 2016, Microsoft set clean energy commitments to power its datacenters and bring new renewable energy sources online in the communities in which it operates. "The wind energy sector is particularly vibrant in Ireland at the moment, and we are seeing the emergence of an array of new structures and procurement approaches, which I feel will persist and grow into the future".

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