The Microsoft data center, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, uses biogas methane produced by waste byproducts at the nearby Dry Creek wastewater facility to power the fuel cell system, which then converts the biogas into electricity.
The Siemens software and hardware monitors the amount of biogas being sent to the fuel cell, the conversion to usable energy, and the fuel cell output to ensure that enough electricity is created to power the facility.
The Microsoft data center will operate completely off the grid and, based on measurements from Siemens’ power monitoring system, is expected to produce 250 kW of renewable power and use approximately 100 kW. The additional power will be sent back to the wastewater treatment facility to reduce its electric bills.
Late last month Greenpeace questioned Amazon Web Services’ claims that its new data center in Frankfurt, Germany is carbon neutral.
Greenpeace senior energy campaigner David Pomerantz says Amazon needs to release more information to verify its carbon-neutral claim. “While we would like to trust that Amazon’s new facility will actually be powered by renewable sources, Amazon’s refusal so far to disclose any data about its energy use makes it difficult for customers or the public to accept the company’s claim on good faith alone.”