Google recycles aging coal plant


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As old hydrocarbon-fired electric-generating plants shut down, they may find new lives in a digital world.
 
Google has announced that it will take over Alabama’s Widows Creek coal plant when it closes by October and refurbish it as a data center. The miles of transmission lines that have been sending fossil-derived power into the regional electric grid will now be used to bring electricity from renewable sources to a massive computerized data repository. To add an additional irony, Google hinted that the site also might be used in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority as a test bed for new energy technologies.
 
TRENDPOST: As electricity generation decentralizes, outdated generating plants could become attractive sites for industrial redevelopment. The plants usually cover huge amounts of real estate – good for parking, fabrication, and storage; are well-served by rail and highway; and are close to populated areas. The caveat: Many may be brownfield sites needing costly cleanup.  

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