Archives: Microsoft

End-Use Customers Ink 23% of Wind Contracts in 2014

Josh Kessler

The American Wind Energy Association reported that retail and other non-utility buyers signed 23 percent of the wind power purchase agreements (PPAs) inked in 2014. This represents over 1,770 MW of generation. Other renewable energy customers mentioned in the article include leading technology firms like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!—as well as other major retail   …Continue Reading

County Trials Energy Tracking Software Used by Microsoft

Linda Hardesty

King County, Washington, plans to pilot the same energy-tracking software that Microsoft uses to reduce energy consumption at many of its buildings. Seattle-based design firm MacDonald-Miller will install the software at five King County facilities for the two-year pilot project. Iconics developed the software using Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform. The energy tracking software will provide   …Continue Reading

Microsoft Tests Fuel Cells at ‘Server Level’

Linda Hardesty

Microsoft is testing Redox Power Systems fuel cells to power individual server racks within a data center in a three-year, $5 million project, reports Gigaom. The project, using a grant from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, is unusual because most data centers that use fuel cells install the fuel cells away from the servers,   …Continue Reading

Modern Data Centers Faster, More Energy Efficient

Karen Henry

Innovations in modern data center design have been shepherded by the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft and include improvements to power supply and distribution, more flexible hardware, new cooling methods and cloud-oriented server design. An article in InformationWeek highlights some of the more recent data center innovations that are being implemented by conventional   …Continue Reading

Are Fuel Cells Best Suited for Data Centers?

Karen Henry

In early November, Microsoft opened an off-grid data center in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The data center is powered by fuel cell system that convert biogas into electricity. Although fuel cells have been around for decades, the technology has struggled to find an application and a market, according to a recent Gigaom blog post. The data center,   …Continue Reading

Microsoft Opens ‘Off-Grid’ Data Center

Linda Hardesty

Microsoft dedicated its new zero-carbon, waste-to-energy-powered data center in Cheyenne, Wyo. Microsoft worked with Siemens Energy Management and FuelCell Energy on the data center that will operate completely off the grid. The data center uses biogas methane produced by common waste byproducts at the nearby Dry Creek wastewater facility. Anaerobic bacteria produce the biogas, which   …Continue Reading

EPA Releases National Top 100 Green Power Users

Karen Henry

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its National Top 100 Green Power Users with the Green Power Partnership for the second quarter of 2014, and Intel has once again held on to the top spot. The Green Power Partnership (GPP) works with Fortune 500 companies; local, state and federal governments; and colleges and   …Continue Reading

Microsoft Announces Largest Wind Project to Date

Karen Henry

Microsoft has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy in Illinois. The Pilot Hill Wind Project is the company’s second PPA and its largest wind investment to date, according to a Microsoft blog post. Microsoft signed its first long-term (20-year) PPA for wind energy in 2013, purchasing 110 MW of wind energy   …Continue Reading

Redox, Trans-Tech Develop Natural Gas Fuel Cells

Linda Hardesty

To advance its goal of using distributed power for heating and cooling data centers, Microsoft’s Redox Power Systems – a University of Maryland Microsoft Corporation – has teamed with Trans-Tech. The partners are developing transformational natural gas fuel cells through a $5 million cooperative agreement funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)   …Continue Reading

Data Center Research Added to Grant Program

William Opalka

Research teams from around the world have been awarded $40,000 grants to create more energy efficient data centers. The Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) receives funding from Microsoft for the grants, according to a blog post from the Global Foundation Services. Microsoft says it is looking to find ways to transform the energy supply chain toward greater   …Continue Reading