Last year, eBay announced it would power its flagship Salt Lake City data center with renewable energy as its primary power source, the first company to do so. It is using fuel cells and biogas and is now adding another source of energy – waste heat.
Ormat Technologies, a leader in waste heat and geothermal systems, will build a 5 megawatt (MW) recovered energy generation (REG) power plant in Utah and sell the electricity to eBay under a 20-year contract. Ormat’s REG power plants capture waste heat that otherwise would be released to the atmosphere and converts it to energy using a process similar to that of geothermal electricity generation.
Waste heat, which is produced by every facility, could be the biggest untapped source of energy. It is commonly captured in combined heat and power (CHP) systems. In this case, the waste heat will be coming from e-Bay’s data center. It will be turned into electricity and sold back to eBay.