Microsoft today announced a three-year deal with The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to research and develop distributed generation technologies for green data centers.
Microsoft is also donating $1 million to UTSA’s The Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute (SERI) as part of the project.
As part of this research, UTSA students will work with Microsoft researchers to look into new energy technologies such as micro-turbines to replace the diesel generators that are used during times of peak demand and grid outages.
Brian Janous, in a Microsoft blog, said: “This partnership is focused on hastening the transition to a future where widespread deployment of distributed generation will reduce energy losses, improve reliability and minimize the need for costly investments in new infrastructure.”
“We believe that this research partnership will help make distributed generation more economically viable while helping the city achieve its goal to be the leading U.S. city in clean energy technology,” Janous added.
San Antonio’s municipally owned utility CPS Energy is the largest publicly owned purchaser of wind power in the country, with 1059 megawatts (MW) of wind-generated electricity in commercial operation. It also has 89 MW of solar power in commercial operation, with plans to develop more than 350 MW of solar power.
Microsoft said this is one of its first major research partnerships to use datacenters as a laboratory for next-generation energy technologies. Distributed generation will be an important part of how it powers its data centers.