Two of the world’s giant engineering companies pick Ireland to test out new wind power technology that can provide smooth flows of clean energy to data centres.
Microsoft signed a 15-year deal with General Electric to acquire all the electricity generated at a new 37-megawatt wind farm in Co Kerry, which will power its growing cloud services section in Ireland, according to press release on Monday.
Tullahennel Wind Farm is the first in Europe to combine a battery into each turbine to store energy and smooth out power flows from the intermittent renewable resource, according to the statement.
Microsoft said it also obtain an Irish energy supply license from General Electric and signed a deal with ElectroRoute Energy Trading, a unit of Mitsubishi, which will provide energy trading services.
The deal builds on Microsoft and General Electric’s essential partnership signed last year to postion GE’s “industrial Internet” services platform Predix, allowing companies to capture data and use it to improve the performance of assets.
Our allegiance will help bring new, clean energy to the Irish grid, and contains original elements that have the ability to grow the capacity, reliability and capability of the grid,” said Christian Belady, general manager of data centre strategy at Microsoft.
“This will make it easier to include new clean power sources like wind energy, and that is good for the environment, for Ireland and for our company,” he added.
Chief commercial officer of General Electric Renewable Energy, Andres Isaza, said: “This collaboration with Microsoft increase GE’s substantial presence and investment in Ireland, where we already employ over 1,500 people and in particular in the renewable energy sector.
“ Wind is now one of the most driven sources of electricity in the market today, and we’re very happy about the capability to use data generated from these wind turbines, using the Predix platform, to maximize the output and worth of this project.”