Microsoft says it will lend the batteries it uses to power datacenters in Dublin to the Irish government. With the extra capacity, the government will be able to stabilize the electrical throughput that comes from wind farms around Ireland.
There are 400 wind farms in Ireland that generate over 35% of electricity in the country. This is a major clean energy commitment and there are challenges involved in generating electricity from windmills.
Distribution companies contend with fluctuations in wind intensity throughout the day, which means power production varies considerably. In other words, there is sometimes more power generated than other times.
With natural gas resources, it is easier to maintain what is known as the spinning reserve. Essentially, this is an excess of power that can be called upon in high demand. However, this is bad for the environment and the Irish government wants to become less reliant on spinning reserves.
So, Microsoft datacenter lithium-ion batteries will allow distribution companies to cut back on spinning reserves. To understand the potential impact of the support, Microsoft commissioned a study showing how its batteries will help.
Offering battery support “is a way for us to unlock the value of the datacenter,” says Nur Bernhardt, a senior program manager for energy at Microsoft.
That research found the Microsoft datacenter batteries can help to save two million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. Microsoft explains how it is repurposing the batteries to help distributors.
“These batteries, which typically provide backup power for the datacenter in case of emergency, have been certified, tested and approved for connection to the grid in a way that helps grid operators provide uninterrupted service when demand exceeds the supply generated elsewhere on the grid by wind, solar and other sources.”
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