Microsoft to use energy from biogas to run data center

Microsoft is going to be running one of its data centers from energy that comes from a local source, rather than from a normal power grid. The company announced today that the pilot project will be launched sometime in March 2013 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a post on the Microsoft Global Foundations Service website, the company said it was investing $5.5 million in this pilot project, which will use biogas to run the data center. Microsoft added:

The project will be located at the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It provides an exciting, first-of-its kind opportunity to develop viable capabilities and best practices for capturing and reusing natural bi-products like biogas directly from wastewater treatment plants, agricultural farms, fuel refineries, and waste landfill sites, etc.

The actual data center is relatively small and uses 200kW. The biogas energy facility will be able to generate power up to 300kW. Microsoft states, "Although, this is of course only a fraction of the size of our typical data centers, the knowledge acquired will allow us to model how a large facility will react."

The pilot project will be used for 18 months and afterwards, Microsoft plans to donate the data center and the biogas energy plant to the City of Cheyenne and the University of Wyoming so that they can continue their own research into using this technology.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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