Microsoft Partners with UTSA to Develop Sustainable Technologies

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Microsoft Corp. has entered into a three-year agreement with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to research and develop sustainable technologies. The goal is to make Microsoft’s data centers more energy efficient and economically viable. The company has also made a gift of $1 million to UTSA to support the university’s R&D programs.

Microsoft is investing $250 million to build a new 256,000 square foot data center located close to its existing facility in San Antonio. The company is working to address how energy is used and distributed inside data centers and how the consumption impacts the broader grid. With these efforts, it hopes to achieve better control over the required energy supply for the data centers.

Microsoft’s joint efforts with UTSA on energy solutions will allow it to widen its commitment to optimizing for energy efficiency inside the facility, as well as its global portfolio of data centers. It will realize further benefits with the integration and investments in driving enhanced sustainability and scalable efficiencies in the broader energy supply chain.

UTSA vice president for research, C. Mauli Agrawal, said that the university’s goal is to bring together technology and economics to build an intelligent energy system. It wants to identify economically viable technologies that will cut down the environmental footprint of data centers. The research efforts will look at expansion of business opportunities for new distributed energy technology that reduces energy consumption and emissions, improves reliability and contributes to a sustainable energy future.

Microsoft says that distributed generation represents a key shift in the energy sector that will significantly change how data centers operate. Most data centers, by design, consume large amounts of energy in order to sufficiently cool and maintain the computer servers they house. As the need for data centers continues to grow, this research partnership between Microsoft and UTSA will serve as a step toward finding sustainable solutions to improve the overall energy performance of these facilities.

Source: UTSA

Image Credit: Flickr via NASA