Microsoft datacenter
Microsoft’s Cheyenne, Wyoming data center. Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

Microsoft and a Wyoming utility are working together to generate more clean, reliable energy.

Microsoft recently signed agreements to power its new data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming with wind. The energy will be added to the power grid. Any excess can be used by other consumers, and when there’s no wind, the utility will provide electricity from other sources.

But the utility worried about meeting consumers’ power needs on the occasional day when there is high use but no wind. So Microsoft and the utility got creative.

Robert Bernard is Microsoft’s chief environmental strategist. He says Microsoft always builds a back-up power source – such as an on-site natural gas-powered generator – so the data center can operate even if there is a problem with the local grid.

Bernard: “We’ve done a deal with Wyoming – where Microsoft is leveraging our own generators at our data center, which will serve as back up for the grid. So if the utility company needs that energy, we can turn on our generators, and send the power to the utility itself.”

The result is a win for Microsoft, the environment, and other utility customers who benefit from reliable power.

Bernard: “This is the first location where we’ve done this type of project and we hope it will serve as a model for the future.”

Reporting credit: Justyna Bicz/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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