Google is building large data centers in areas where electricity is inexpensive, such as next to the hydropower-rich Columbia River in The Dalles, Ore., or in rural areas. But Chicago is not without its intrinsic advantages, said Manos, a Windy City native.
Microsoft will in fact be taking advantage of a natural Chicagoland feature to help cut energy costs at that facility. It’s called airside economization -- otherwise known as opening a window. From fall to spring, Chicago, “the air outside isn’t necessarily warm,” said Manos, and cooler air will be used to help chill the data center. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.,. has been advocating the technology in particular, and says doing so can cut cooling costs by 60%.