Understanding energy use and sustainability investments at the Quincy datacenters
In each building at every campus and datacenter, sustainability is a key priority for Microsoft across all phases of a project— from site selection to design and construction to operations and decommissioning. Microsoft datacenters, including our facilities in Quincy, are key to our sustainability goals.
Carbon negative by 2030
The abundance of carbon-free hydropower in Washington state, delivered by Grant PUD, Microsoft’s regional energy partner, helps reduce the carbon footprint of the Central Washington datacenters.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the world’s largest green building certification program. LEED provides the framework for healthy, highly efficient, lower carbon emissions and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. New Microsoft datacenters are designed to be LEED Gold certified.
Power usage effectiveness (PUE) measures cloud energy efficiency. Lower PUE indicates more energy-efficient datacenters, with a PUE of 1.0 being the best score. The Microsoft Central Washington datacenters had a 12-month average PUE of 1.16 through February 2022.
Water positive by 2030
Microsoft uses adiabatic cooling at several of our Washington datacenters. This method of cooling uses outside air instead of water for cooling when temperatures are below 85 degrees Fahrenheit, reducing water use to less than 5 percent of the year.
In Quincy, we helped the city build a water reuse utility. The facility processes and recycles cooling water for our datacenters, significantly reducing our reliance on the municipal water supply. In 2021, the Quincy datacenters utilized 268 million gallons of water at an efficiency rate of 0.97 L/kWh.
Zero waste by 2030
In 2020, we successfully opened our first Microsoft Circular Center in our North Holland datacenters, which is designed to extend the life cycle of servers through reuse and support a circular economy for the Microsoft Cloud.
By mid-2023, we will bring the first Microsoft Circular Center to Washington state. Microsoft Circular Centers are able to process 12,000 servers per month for reuse.
Globally, Microsoft datacenters reuse 78 percent of our end-of-life assets and components; the remaining 22 percent of materials are recycled. We are continuing to research further methods to reduce waste by determining new recycling solutions for used air filters and fiber-optic cables.