Last Monday, Microsoft and GE (General Electric) announced that they have just signed off on a power purchase agreement that binds them together for the next 15 years. The energy in question will come from GE’s Irish site in County Kerry.
This deal means that the brand new 37 megawatt (MW) Tullahennel wind farm will exclusively sell its wind power to Microsoft. And, this will be the case for the next 15 years.
Addressing the new deal, the chief commercial officer of GE Renewable Energy, Andres Isaza, said that by creating this new partnership with Microsoft, GE will be able to expand its presence in Ireland. Currently, the company employs around 1,500 individuals in Ireland with sights to increasing this in the near future. He added that there was a notable emphasis on the renewable energy sector among those employees.
Isaza continued his statement by saying that wind is now “one of the most competitive sources of electricity on the market today.” And, GE plans to capitalise on this. The company has said that each of the wind turbines on the new site will be equipped with a battery that has been integrated into the machine. This battery will be able to generate data that will give technicians details regarding energy storage.
The hope for the batteries is that technicians will be able to use the information to “capture and store” any excess energy. They will then be able to send this energy back to the grid as and when it is needed.
This news has been received in the wake of a statement from Parkwind that it sees no problems with becoming a strategic partner in the Oriel Wind Farm. This wind farm would be located in the northwest section of the Irish sea. Parkwind is a Belgian company that specialises in offshore wind farm development.
The project in question is set to include 55 wind turbines and will be built around 22km from the coast of Dundalk, Ireland. Oriel Wind Farm Ltd expect the output of this project to be enough to provide green energy to approximately 250,000 homes in Ireland.