Microsoft uses sewage for power

Computer software giant Microsoft is set to power one of its data centres with sewage. Yesterday it announced plans to splash $5.5million (£3.5m) on a pilot project, called the ‘Data […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Computer software giant Microsoft is set to power one of its data centres with sewage.

Yesterday it announced plans to splash $5.5million (£3.5m) on a pilot project, called the ‘Data Plant’, which will use biogas from a wastewater facility.

Microsoft said it will use the 200kW project, which will power its cloud services, to learn how to apply clean energy like biogas to its other large data centres. Any unused power generated will be sent back to the treatment facility to further cut its energy costs.

Gregg McKnight, General Manager of Data Centre Advanced Development at Microsoft said: “With the demand for renewable energy resources outstripping available power supplies today, Microsoft is researching new methods to help our operations become more efficient and environmentally sustainable. We’re excited by the potential for using stationary fuel cells to capture and recycle natural by-products like biogas. This project will study methods to provide an economical and reliable power supply for data centres that is also scalable and economical for use by other industries.”

The power plant will be installed at the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming by Spring 2013.