Microsoft will offer its datacenter batteries for grid load-balancing in Ireland

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Microsoft has agreed to lend its battery packs, currently powering its data centers in Dublin, to the Irish government. These huge lithium-ion battery banks will help stabilize the electrical throughput that’s generated using Ireland’s wind farms.

About 400 wind farms in Ireland collectively generate more than 35% of the island’s electricity. Although windmills offer clean power, they do pose a challenge for electricity generation and distribution companies. The intensity of the wind fluctuates throughout the day and over the course of the seasons causing considerable variations in power production.

Every power grid operator that relies on fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, has to maintain what is called a spinning reserve. This excess capacity helps power distribution companies quickly respond to changes in demand.