Microsoft today announced the signing of a new 15-year agreement to purchase wind energy from General Electric (GE) in Ireland. All a part of the company's commitment to building a "responsible cloud for global good" in Europe, under the new agreement, 37 megawatts of clean energy will be added to the Irish electric grid.
Technically known as a power purchase agreement, Microsoft is set to buy 100 percent of the wind energy from the Tullahennel wind farm in County Kerry, Ireland. This makes Microsoft one of the first multinational tech giants to support the construction of a wind energy project in the area.
Also under the agreement, Microsoft is hoping that valuable new insights will be created about "how renewable energy can be stored." A first in the region, Microsoft and GE will specifically be testing how batteries can be used to capture and store leftover wind energy before sending it back to the rest of the electric grid.
Christian Belady, General Manager, Datacenter Strategy at Microsoft, remarked on this new agreement:
"Microsoft is proud to be deepening our long history of investment and partnership in Ireland with this agreement...Our investment 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 to incorporate new clean power sources like wind energy. And that is good for the environment, for Ireland and for our company."
Microsoft already has supported many sustainability projects in Ireland, such as a new foresty initiative, as well as investments in energy efficiency measures and technologies. Today, the tech giant is also acquiring an Irish energy supply license from GE, with the energy trading company ElectroRoute acting as a trading service provider for the supply company. This will all bring more flexibility and allow for the growth and investment in renewable energy in Ireland over the next few years.