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Microsoft Corporation has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) to procure 900 MW of renewable capacity in Ireland to power its data centers in the country.
The company said Ireland data centers were already operating on batteries to maintain an uninterruptable power supply. It added that a digital layer of intelligence was required to determine ways to balance frequency on the system with respect to the grid.
Microsoft has collaborated with Enel X to ensure that the batteries can provide grid services through an instantaneous interaction with the power grid. On days when wind and/or solar power production is fluctuating, Microsoft’s backup batteries can be used to help maintain a steady flow of energy to customers.
The batteries will also promote the mitigation of emissions and reduce fuel costs by cutting the dependency on power plants that burn fossil fuels to provide steady power to Microsoft’s data centers.
Brian Janous, General Manager of Energy at Microsoft, said the batteries create a huge opportunity to be able to see the data center as something more than a consumer of energy, but also a producer and a partner to grid operators to improve reliability and ultimately energy transition.
With an aim to remove carbon in its energy purchases by 2030, the company plans to contract green energy for 100% of carbon-emitting consumption by all its data centers, buildings, and campuses worldwide.
Last year, Microsoft was the second-largest corporate buyer of renewable energy through PPAs. Most of these deals inked by the company are in Europe, including Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Spain, and will bring over 10 GW of new clean energy capacity online.
In September, Microsoft announced its plans with two other companies to launch the Global Renewables Watch (GRW)— a first-of-its-kind living atlas to measure and map all utility-scale solar and wind installations on earth using artificial intelligence and satellite imagery.
According to a recently published Wood Mackenzie report, India led the corporate renewable procurement market in the Asia Pacific region for the second year in a row in 2022, by procuring 8.1 GW of total capacity. The region overall contracted 18.6 GW of cumulative renewable capacity through PPAs during the first half of the year.