The next time you find yourself saying that Microsoft’s cloud services stink, you could be more right than you realize.

Technology Review reports that Microsoft has “gotten approval to test a modular data center run from a biogas-powered fuel cell located at a wastewater treatment plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming.” Or put another way, Microsoft is testing out a new data center that’s powered by sewage gas.

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“A person is consuming data and that person’s waste is going to power the data center,” Microsoft data center researcher Sean Parker told the publication. “It’s been a mind shift … when we smell that methane at a water treatment plant, we realize we’re smelling energy.”

And Microsoft isn’t looking at its wastewater plant data center as a novelty either: According to Technology Review, the company “hopes the project will provide insight into whether it can locate smaller data centers at biogas-producing operations, such as wastewater treatment plants, livestock farms, and landfills, around the world.”

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So if you’re a farmer who has a particularly gassy herd of cattle, give Microsoft a call. They might be willing to turn a smelly liability into a profitable asset.

 

This content was originally published on BGR.com

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