Virginia utility Dominion Power has invested $1 million in data center power management software company Power Assure as the companies begin a partnership to integrate data centers into the smart grid.
Dominion describes data centers as an “excellent fit” for smart grid integration, citing their high power density, the amount of excess power available in most data centers – except during rare periods of high demand – and the inherent ability of many applications to have the geographic location of their computing switched without impacting the end user.
The companies have not yet decided which data centers they plan to use to feed power back to the grid, but a number of facilities have approached the partners about being used in a pilot project, according to GreentechGrid.
In other data center news, Microsoft has submitted a U.S. patent application for a data center powered by a wind-powered generator.
The patent application lists various ways a data center could be powered by wind, including one idea where the servers would be built directly into the hollow base of a turbine.