Microsoft announced that it has bought all the energy that will be produced for the next 15 years by GE's 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm in Ireland. But this isn't just a good marketing move: Both companies will take the opportunity to mine the powerplant's data to understand how each turbine's battery can better store energy and potentially redistribute it back into the grid. As Microsoft's statement notes, it's the first deployment of battery storage integrated with wind power in all of Europe.
At least some of this energy will go to powering the data centers Microsoft has in Ireland, forming a sustainable loop. The purchase brings the company's total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to almost 600 megawatts, Microsoft noted in a statement. But at the end of the day, sustainable -- and cheaper -- energy is entirely in the interest of the big tech corporations which are always looking for ways to make their power-sucking data centers more affordable. And, of course, obtaining cleaner energy sources might keep your company from getting slammed by Greenpeace.