: Microsoft agrees to air-cooled data centers in the Goodyear area of Phoenix, Arizona

Mar 23, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Microsoft is switching its cooling system for data centers in the Goodyear area of Phoenix, Arizona, following an update of its development agreement. Further to this, it has pledged to invest more than $40 million to expand the city's wastewater capacity. While the giant purchased the site in 2018, it has since been working with the city to find solutions for the wastewater from cooling processes. Now, as it seeks to build another 250,000-square-foot building, the city has told Microsoft it doesn't have enough wastewater plant capacity to process more wastewater. 

Speaking about this, Cameron Carter, a Rose Law Group attorney representing Microsoft, at the March 6th meeting where the agreement was made, said: "From the initial agreement, the infrastructure development agreement that we entered into in 2019, we always contemplated that we would come back with an amendment that would comprehensively address all of the infrastructure that's needed for a campus build-out." This is the third revision to the infrastructure agreement. 

As per the new agreement, the company's fourth and fifth buildings will utilize air cooling instead of direct evaporative cooling. 

Speaking about this, Deputy City Attorney Sarah Chilton explained that part of the reason is due to the water it is able to deliver has high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS): "It would just be cost prohibitive to recycle and take additional water supplies needed to treat it so that the TDS level was reduced," she said. 

In addition to this, the giant will pay $36M for a planned $90M expansion at Goodyear's 157th Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant; when fully built out, the company will be able to utilize 1.2 million gallons of capacity/day. Further, it will deposit $ 5 million for financial assurance toward the cost of a new sewer line.

It has been outlined that Microsoft has until August 31 2024, to complete the construction of a dedicated discharge line to deliver wastewater from its data centers to the plant.

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