The parties, which are principal partners to COP26, have signed a memorandum of understanding for collaborating, trialling, and testing technologies that can help in the transition to net-zero
Microsoft and Scottish energy company SSE have entered into a sustainability partnership to develop and deploy innovation projects in line with their objectives for achieving zero carbon emissions.
The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard for collaborating, trialling, and testing technologies that can help in the transition to net-zero.
Both firms are principal partners to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
Their partnership will leverage Microsoft’s artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and skills programmes to help the green ambitions of SSE across various areas.
Microsoft UK CEO Clare Barclay said: “The partnership between Microsoft and SSE will create the foundations for a more sustainable energy sector.
“By combining our expertise, skills and technology, and aligning our shared vision of a greener planet, Microsoft and SSE will develop innovative solutions and best practices that will transform business operations and help build a culture of sustainability investment and innovation across the UK.”
The MoU will focus initially on SSE’s renewable energy business.
SSE said that the MoU represents the commitment of the two firms to collaborate on various initiatives in the future with the objective that opportunities can be adopted across the company’s other business areas.
The partners will promote the awareness of business challenges and opportunities relating to sustainability, technology, and digital innovation.
Microsoft and SSE are already working together on a sustainability and wildlife project. Under this, the Scottish energy firm is utilising the Microsoft Azure cloud to understand the effects of wind farms on puffins.
The partners had completed a live trial on the Isle of May, off the Scottish coast. The trial saw the counting of puffins by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology instead of manual counting.
Avanade and Naturescot also took part in the puffin monitoring pilot.
After successful early-stage trials, the partners plan to launch the puffin monitoring project at the Caithness cliffs located near the Beatrice offshore wind farm in Scotland, which is partly owned by SSE.
Microsoft said that AI and digital twins will be employed for enhancing the lifecycle of the Scottish firm’s assets.
The tech firm added that predictive models will make sure that people, tools, and supplies are available when needed at the right place. On the other hand, technology will be used for helping with the safety of engineering and field workers, said Microsoft.
The partnership between Microsoft and SSE will be linked to three timeframes, with the first timeframe aims to rapidly achieve sustainability improvements of the Scottish firm’s assets.
The second timeframe will involve setting up collaborative environments to help the partners identify opportunities to innovate and make use of different skillsets for continuous improvement.
The third timeframe will see the partners promote the benefits of working together to transform the energy market in renewable energy supply and storage, decarbonisation and data centre energy, and other areas.
SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: “Digitalisation and data will help drive net-zero and this partnership will combine the latest technology and skills, with our cutting-edge projects, to trial new solutions which support our vision of being a leading energy company in a net-zero world.
“Sustainability is at the heart of what we do and this collaboration will continue our work to reduce our impact and tackle climate change.”