The companies, both Principal Partners to COP26, have agreed to collaborate, trial and test technologies which can help in the drive for net zero.
The partnership will utilise Microsoft’s artificial intelligence, skills programmes and cloud technology to assist SSE’s green ambitions across a number of areas.
It builds on a sustainability and wildlife project that both companies are working on which has seen SSE using the Microsoft Azure cloud to understand how a colony of puffins may be impacted by nearby wind farms.
A live trial has been completed on the Isle of May, off the coast of Scotland, which saw puffins being counted using AI technology, replacing the need for manual counting and looking at speed and accuracy. Following the early stage successful trials, it will also be rolled out at the Caithness cliffs located near Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, Scotland’s largest operational offshore windfarm – which powers up to 450,000 homes.
As part of the partnership, AI and digital twins will be used to improve the lifecycle of SSE’s assets, while predictive models will ensure people, tools and supplies are available in the right place at the right time, and technology used to assist with the safety of engineering and field workers.
Microsoft and SSE’s work will be linked to three timeframes: the first aims to quickly achieve sustainability improvements of SSE’s assets by improving prototyping, development environments, and understanding technology trends that could reduce the overall carbon footprint of the business.
The second timeframe will see collaborative environments set up to help both companies identify opportunities to innovate, leveraging different skillsets to continuously improve.