Amazon to use a neighbor’s data center to heat its new Seattle high-rise

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Illustration shows path from Seattle's Westin building, left, to Amazon's facility under construction. 

If waste heat could be considered the lemon of data center output then Amazon and a Seattle partner have come up with a way to make lemonade.

From a report on TechFlash.

In what's believed to be the first of its kind system, Amazon.com will use the waste heat from a data center to provide much of the heat in its high-rise campus under construction in downtown Seattle.

Once it's implemented, Amazon will save three-quarters of the electricity it would have bought for heat otherwise, according to McKinstry, a Seattle construction and energy services company. In addition, the operator of the data center, Clise Properties, will save some money on electricity and a lot of water. Earlier this year, Clise and McKinstry formed a company called Eco District to design and build the system.

The idea makes so much sense that it prompts one to wonder why no one thought of this before.

That’s true, which means there are likely limitations and downsides that we’ll learn about later. But right now it sure looks like a tall, cold glass of lemonade.

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