Microsoft and GE sign agreement on new wind energy project in Ireland

Written By: Katherine Demetre
October 9, 2017

microsoft

On Oct. 9, 2017, Microsoft announced a new wind energy agreement in Ireland. They are entering into a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with GE to purchase 100 percent of the wind energy from its 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry, Ireland. The agreement would help support the growing demand for Microsoft Cloud services from Ireland. As part of the deal, Microsoft also signed an agreement with Dublin-based energy trading company ElectroRoute that would provide energy trading services to Microsoft.

In addition to producing energy, Microsoft stated that the project would produce valuable data on energy storage. Each turbine is set to have an integrated battery; Microsoft and GE would test how these batteries could be used to capture and store excess energy, and then provide it back to the grid as needed.

Christian Belady, general manager, Datacenter Strategy at Microsoft, commented:

Microsoft is proud to be deepening our long history of investment and partnership in Ireland with this agreement. 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.

Microsoft also plans to acquire an Irish energy supply license from GE. The supply license would benefit both Microsoft and the Irish power grid, as it allows the company the flexibility to easily grow and invest in renewable energy in Ireland over time. ElectroRoute would act as trading service provider for the supply company.

Once operational, the new wind project would bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 600 megawatts. 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.