Microsoft, on October 9 signed an agreement with GE to purchase every bit of the wind energy from GE’s Tullahennel wind farm. The brand new 37 megawatt wind farm is situated in Country Kerry, Ireland. and will be located there for the next 15 years.
It is speculated, Microsoft will be using a clean energy source to power at least some of its cloud data centers in Ireland. This will result in low energy bill for Microsoft, while reducing pollution related to running cloud services.
Microsoft and GE are working on a battery technology which captures excess energy from wind turbines. If there is surplus energy captured by this method, the companies could pass it on to the Irish energy grid.
According to Cristian Belady, general manager of Datacenter Strategy at Microsoft, it is the continuation of relationships Microsoft has built up in Ireland. The agreement could bring multiple winners.
“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 on the grid. This will make it easier to incorporate new clean power sources for Ireland and for our company,” he added.
Cloud computing was thought to be environment friendly but it depends on the energy source.
Companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have built new data centers with energy efficiency in mind.
Facebook was designing its data center in Oregon in 2011, making it energy efficient.
Microsoft‘s announcement represents a fraction of the company’s 600 megawatt clean energy procurement globally.
The companies are building green data centers which cost less to run. If they produce a smaller carbon footprint in the process, it will bring a favorable outcome.