Data Centers Experiment With Ways To Go Green


Leigh Paterson/Inside Energy

The Microsoft Data Plant runs entirely on the methane emitted by the wastewater treatment facility next door.

In this age of information, almost everything we do runs on digital data: from Facebook to email, our financial system to medical records. It all seems kind of intangible but this information actually exists on a server at one of the millions of data centers across the country. All of that processing uses tons of electricity. In 2013, data centers represented more than 2% of total US electricity consumption. Over the next few months we’ll be exploring the connection between energy and our digital information. Inside Energy’s Leigh Paterson takes us to an experimental Wyoming data center that is fighting energy inefficiency using waste.

Check out Leigh’s radio story for more on why data centers need so much electricity and how they are becoming greener.