California’s ‘largest’ renewable microgrid to provide backup power for Microsoft

Enchanted Rock has been contracted by Microsoft for the project, which will be fully supported by renewable natural gas

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A renewable microgrid claimed to be the largest of its kind in California is to be developed for Microsoft to ensure resiliency of its data centre.

Enchanted Rock has been contracted by Microsoft for the project, which will be fully supported by renewable natural gas (RNG).

The microgrid, which will be supplied with net zero carbon RNG, will provide Microsoft’s San Jose data centre with backup power to ensure continuous operations.

Brian Janous, General Manager – DC Energy & Sustainability at Microsoft said: “This project helps Microsoft take a step towards our goal of eliminating dependence on petroleum-based diesel, while increasing the resilience of our data centre and providing a much-needed capacity resource to the local grid.”

According to Enchanted Rock, the project will outperform current California Air Resources Board’s emissions requirements for distributed generation, with hourly local emissions 80% – 96% lower than Tier 4 diesel standards.

Californian State Senator Ben Hueso (D-40) added: “The climate crisis and environmental degradation hit underserved communities first and hardest.

“These communities suffer through poor air quality, intolerable heat waves and punishing droughts. We must take immediate action to reverse the climate crisis and address local environmental impacts. I am hopeful that one day all data centres will replace their backup power systems with carbon-negative, clean renewable natural gas. Today’s announcement will set a precedent I believe all of California’s roughly 240 data centres should follow.”