Microsoft signed a 15-year PPA today for 100% of the electricity from GE’s new 37-megawatt wind farm in Ireland. The computing giant expects the deal to help support an expansion of its cloud computing services offerings in the country.
GE’s new wind farm will be built in Tullahennel, County Kerry on Ireland’s southwestern coast. The PPA builds on a strategic partnership between GE and Microsoft formed last year to make GE’s Predix cloud-based data analysis platform available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud for industrial businesses.
Part of the project in Ireland involves a deal to produce energy storage data. Each wind turbine at GE’s farm will contain an integrated battery, providing an opportunity for the partners to test how those batteries capture and store excess energy, then deliver it to the grid. “This provides more predictable power to an increasingly green Irish grid by smoothing out peaks and valleys in wind production,” the partners said in the announcement, calling the project the first deployment of battery integration into wind turbines to store energy in Europe.
In addition, Microsoft acquired an Irish energy supply license from GE, allowing the company to sell surplus electricity into the National Grid, the Financial Times reported. Dublin-based company ElectroRoute is going to serve as trading service provider, according to a joint announcement about the project.
“Once operational, the new wind project will bring Microsoft’s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 600 megawatts,” the press release says.
Ireland has been attracting other major tech companies over the past few years. Amazon has facilities in Dublin, Facebook signed a deal to get wind power for its facility in Clonee, County Meath, and last June Apple announced plans to build a $972 million data center in Athenry powered entirely by renewable energy.