Microsoft and General Electric invest in Irish wind technology
The tech giant has signed a deal with GE to use wind technology to power its cloud services unit
Microsoft signed a deal with General Electric to buy all the electricity generated at a new 37-megawatt wind farm in Co Kerry. Photograph: iStock
Two of the world’s biggest engineering companies chose Ireland to test out new wind power technology that can deliver smooth flows of clean energy to data centres.
Microsoft signed a 15-year deal with General Electric to buy all the electricity generated at a new 37-megawatt wind farm in Co Kerry, which will power its growing cloud services unit in Ireland, according to a press release on Monday.
The Tullahennel Wind Farm is the first in Europe to integrate 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 acquired an Irish energy supply licence from GE and signed a deal with ElectroRoute Energy Trading, a unit of Mitsubishi, which will provide energy trading services.
The deal builds on Microsoft and GE’s strategic partnership signed last year to deploy GE’s “industrial internet” services platform Predix, allowing companies to capture data and use it to improve the performance of assets.
“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,” said Christian Belady, general manager of datacentre strategy at Microsoft.
“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,” he added.
Andres Isaza, chief commercial officer of GE Renewable Energy, said: “This partnership with Microsoft expands GE’s considerable 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 competitive sources of electricity on the market today, and we’re excited about the capability to use data generated from these wind turbines, using the Predix platform, to maximize the output and value of this project.”