Wyoming may lack the cost advantages of Iowa or abundant hydroelectricity of Washington or Idaho, but there’s a new experimental power source: Wastewater. Microsoft recently opened a test facility near the Wyoming Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne. (The company has a second DC nearby for cloud storage.)
Sean James, Microsoft’s data center advanced development research manager, says the “biogas” is 100 percent renewable. Bacteria break down the wastewater, sulfur and humidity is removed, and the power is converted to fuel cells that run off hydrogen.
The Equality State is also attractive due to a high concentration of skilled technical labor in its largest cities, while natural disasters are rare compared to states such as Florida (hurricanes) or California (earthquakes). Business-friendly tax laws also help.