Microsoft announces world-class solar-power datacenters in Arizona

Microsoft today announced that it is going to build two new world-class datacenter campuses at Arizona to meet the growing demand of cloud services in Arizona and across the Western United States. These datacenters will be located in El Mirage and Goodyear in Arizona. Microsoft mentioned that these datacenters will be among the most sustainably designed and operated in the world, and they will be powered with 100% renewable energy, thanks to Microsoft’s partnership with First Solar. First Solar’s Sun Streams 2 photovoltaic (PV) solar plant with 150-megawatt capacity will power these upcoming Microsoft datacenters. With this energy deal, Microsoft now has renewable energy partnerships totaling nearly 1.5-gigawatts.

Other highlights of these datacenters:

  • Microsoft’s datacenter designs are already more energy- and water-efficient than traditional enterprise datacenters. In Arizona, Microsoft is pursuing LEED Gold certification which will help conserve additional resources including energy and water, generate less waste and support human health.
  • Microsoft is committed to zero waste-certified operations for these new datacenters which means a minimum of  90% of waste will be diverted away from landfills through reduction, reuse and recycling efforts.
  • The advanced design of Microsoft’s datacenters means that its planned datacenters will use zero water for cooling for more than half the year. Microsoft’s design uses outside air instead of water for cooling when temperatures are below 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures are above 85 degrees, an evaporative cooling system is used, which is similar to “swamp coolers” in residential homes. This system is highly efficient, using less electricity and a fraction of water used by other water-based cooling systems, such as cooling towers.

Source: Microsoft

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