Microsoft Corp. has entered into a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with GE to purchase 100% of the energy from its new, 37 MW Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry, Ireland. The company says the agreement will help support the growing demand for Microsoft Cloud services from Ireland.
The project will also produce valuable data on energy storage. Each turbine will have an integrated battery; Microsoft and GE will test how these batteries can be used to capture and store excess energy, and then provide it back to the grid as needed.
“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. “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.”
As part of the deal, Microsoft also signed an agreement with Dublin-based energy trading company ElectroRoute; it will provide energy trading services to Microsoft.
“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 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.”
Once operational, the new wind project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 600 MW. 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.