Mainstream Renewables to roll out Windows 8 across global operations

5 Dec 2012

Renewable energy firm Mainstream Renewables, which has thousands of megawatts of wind and solar power projects going into construction in Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada, is rolling out Windows 8 devices across its global operations.

Eddie O’Connor set up the company that develops, builds and operates wind and solar thermal plants in 2008, after Airtricity was sold to E.ON and Scottish and Southern Energy for €1.8bn.

In September, the company secured up to €60m in financing from the renewable energy investor Macquarie to help fund the construction of wind and solar projects and to expand its global project development portfolio.

Mainstream is driving the Energy Bridge project in Ireland to develop and export 5,000MW of new wind energy directly to the UK market.

Mainstream is also a leader in Europe’s offshore wind energy, with a portfolio of more than 5,500MW across the North Sea waters of Scotland, England and Germany. A further 9,500MW pipeline of onshore wind and solar projects are in progress across Canada, Chile, South Africa and the US.

As member of Microsoft’s Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA) programme, Mainstream is currently piloting Windows 8 across several offices. Once the pilot concludes, Windows 8 will be rolled out to all of Mainstream’s employees globally.

Cultural fit

“Using Windows 8 has been a revelation,” said John Shaw, CIO, Mainstream.

“The user interface is elegant, consistent and intuitive across multiple devices and its integration with our existing IT infrastructure means it is the perfect fit both culturally and technically.

“There has been no impact on the bottom line or to our cost of ownership. Ultimately, it has helped unify Mainstream’s outsourcing model.”

Mainstream plans to develop future apps based on Windows 8. In the long term, Mainstream wants a cloud-ready operating system as it fully migrates to tablets and other mobile devices.

“Mainstream is a great example of an innovative early adopter using Windows 8 to both mobilise its staff and increase productivity without having to retrain staff or endure downtime to rip and replace,” said Martin Cullen, director SMS&P, Microsoft.

“Given the size and scope of Mainstream’s global projects, its long-term strategy adopting cloud services requires devices and services that can be easily and quickly adopted and adapted for their specific needs.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years