HomeBussinessMicrosoft inks power purchase deal backed by Donegal windfarm

Microsoft inks power purchase deal backed by Donegal windfarm


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Eoin Doherty, Vice President, EMEA Regional Leader, Microsoft Cloud Operations + Innovation; Stuart Donnelly, Director of Corporate Power Purchase Agreements, SSE Renewables; and Mary Lynch, Portfolio Director at FuturEnergy Ireland. Photo: Conor McCabe

Microsoft has inked a long-term corporate power-purchase agreement that is supported by the newly-commissioned 30MW Lenalea windfarm near Letterkenny in Co Donegal.

The agreement is between Microsoft and SSE Renewables, and FuturEnergy Ireland. FuturEnergy is a joint venture between Coillte and the ESB. SSE Renewables jointly developed the Lenalea project with FuturEnergy.

This agreement is the first long-term corporate power purchase agreement to be jointly entered into by SSE Renewables and FuturEnergy. FuturEnergy has a goal of having 1GW of renewable energy sites operational by 2030.

Under the terms of the corporate power purchase agreement, electricity generated at the Donegal facility will contribute towards Microsoft’s aim of powering its data centres only with renewable energy by 2025.

The latest deal comes after Microsoft signed 900MW of renewable energy power purchase agreements in 2022. Of that capacity, more than 216MW of onshore wind and solar energy projects have already been commissioned, with an additional 250MW of projects slated to reach commercial operation this year.

“At Microsoft, we are committed to playing our part in supporting the decarbonisation of energy grids in markets in which we operate data centres,” said Eoin Doherty, vice president, EMEA regional leader, Microsoft Cloud Operations + Innovation.

The deal with Microsoft will also provide for a Community Benefit Fund of approximately €150,000 per year.

Mary Lynch, portfolio director at FuturEnergy Ireland, said the Lenalea windfarm is the first of seven projects the venture will deliver in partnership with SSE Renewables.

She added that collaborations and partnerships are “critical” if Ireland is to meet its climate action goals.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin will open Ireland’s annual Offshore Wind Conference on Thursday.

Hundreds of delegates from the Irish and global offshore wind industry expect to hear details of the new sites identified by the Government for development off the south coast, as well as the draft terms and conditions for Ireland’s second offshore wind auction which is due to take place before the end of the year. Ireland has a target of generating 80pc of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030. The International Energy Agency said earlier this year that data centres will consume almost a third of Ireland’s total electricity by 2026. In 2022, they consumed 18pc of Ireland’s metered electricity, according to the Central Statistics Office. That’s up from 5pc in 2015.

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