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Matheson advises GE on Microsoft Wind Energy Agreement

AUTHORs: Garret Farrelly Date: 25/10/2017

Matheson has advised General Electric on its recently announced power purchase agreement with global technology giant, Microsoft Corporation.  The deal builds on Microsoft's strategic partnership with GE.

The long term Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the first ever Corporate PPA in Ireland, allows Microsoft to purchase all wind energy produced at GE’s new 37-MegaWatt wind farm in Tullahennel, County Kerry and will help support the growing demand for Microsoft Cloud services from Ireland.  In addition to producing energy, the project will produce valuable data on energy storage. Each GE turbine will have an integrated battery. Microsoft and GE will test how these batteries can be used to capture and store excess energy, and then provide it back to the grid as needed. This provides more predictable power to an increasingly green Irish grid, by smoothing out peaks and valleys in wind production. This will better enable intermittent clean power sources like wind energy to be added to the Irish grid. This will be the first deployment of battery integration into wind turbines to store energy in Europe.

As part of the agreement, Microsoft has signed a deal with Dublin-based energy trading company ElectroRoute, which will provide energy trading services to Microsoft. Matheson also previously advised ElectroRoute on a 2016 partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation.

Welcoming the deal closure, Matheson Partner and Head of Energy and Infrastructure, Garret Farrelly said:

“This transaction is the first of its kind in Ireland. It is evidence of the significant opportunities that exist for corporate buyers in the Irish marketplace who wish to procure their power from renewable generation and the Irish Government’s continuing policy support for the transition to a low carbon economy and sustainable energy system for Ireland.  Matheson’s role on the transaction illustrates our position as the law firm of choice for international companies investing in Ireland.”

This deal is the latest in a number of large high-profile transactions that Matheson has advised GE on including the sale of the Acres and Barranafaddock wind projects to BlackRock Asset Management in 2016.

Matheson’s Corporate Group is one of the leading practices in Ireland, ranked amongst the top European law firms for Mergers and Acquisition deals by leading international league table publishers, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket. On the energy side, Matheson has acted on more energy transactions in and from Ireland than any other law firm in the last five years.