Today we are transferring our $ multi-million water
treatment plant to city of Quincy, WA
Around the globe, water is becoming a scarcer and more valuable
commodity, and that's an important factor for data center operators
and cloud service providers to consider as consumers and businesses
aggressively adopt cloud-based computing. It's even more critical
that all of us in the industry make sure that beyond building
sustainability into our designs, running data centers to higher
standardize efficiencies, and measuring impact constantly, that we
are helping the industry at large in thinking out of the box.
Today offers one of those opportunities. In Quincy, Washington,
we are taking steps to transfer the operations of our Water
Treatment Plant, located on our data center site, to the City of
Quincy. This project involves innovative agreements for promoting a
long term sustainable use of a limited natural resource, water, in
a desert area that has the added benefit of supporting the
foundation of Quincy and Grant County's growing economy for years
to come. To my knowledge, it is the first known transfer of a water
treatment plant to a municipality in our industry and I would like
to share why I think this type of collaborative project helps the
industry and environment benefit as a whole.
Microsoft's Quincy, Washington Water Treatment
Microsoft's current water treatment plant extracts the minerals
from the potable water supply prior to using that water in cooling
our local 500,000 square foot data center. (Note: our new modular
Quincy data center that went live in January 2011 uses airside
economization for cooling and substantially less water).
Moving forward, the City of Quincy will lease the water
treatment plant from Microsoft for $10 annually and will provide
the company with reduced water rates, with an option to buy it
after 30 years. The plant will be operated, maintained and managed
by the city with a right to purchase the plant after that time. By
loaning these assets to the City, they were able to save
significant construction costs for the new Reuse System.
The strategic location of the water treatment plant will also
benefit other local businesses and industrial users, such as other
data centers, food storage processing companies, etc. The City of
Quincy plans to retrofit the plant as an expanded industrial reuse
system in two phases. Following the first phase, the system will
generate approximately 400,000 gallons per day (150 million gallons
per year) using food processor wastewater effluent. The second
phase upgrade is projected to produce 2.5 to 3.0 million gallons
per day (1 billion gallons per year), with about 20 percent being
used by local industries and the remaining being used to recharge
the aquifer around Quincy.
This collaborative partnership with the City of Quincy solves a
local sustainability need by taking a fresh look at integrating our
available resources and allows Microsoft to focus on its core
expertise in meeting the needs of its customers who use our Online,
Live and Cloud Services such as Hotmail, Bing, BPOS, Office 365,
Windows Live, Xbox Live and the Windows Azure platform.
As I have said before, we will continue to look for ways to
reduce and eventually eliminate the use of resources, including
water, in our data center designs. Today, this project reflects our
firm commitment to that vision. I hope it also sets the stage for a
healthy discussion within our industry to continue to explore ways
to share our investments and best practices within the industry and
regions in which we do business.
For more information on our Quincy, WA data center please watch
our data center tour video.
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