Big data is big money, so when the power goes out and data centers go offline, companies like eBay stand to hemorrhage revenue. Which is why the mega auction e-tailer's been hard at work setting up a "greener" data center in South Jordan, Utah to avoid costly and unpredictable blackouts. The now operational site incorporates thirty fuel cells developed by Bloom Energy, a company with roots in NASA's Mars program, that turn natural gas into electricity via an electro-chemical process. What's more, eBay, using recovered energy generation technology provided by Ormat, is also attempting to offset its carbon footprint by harvesting the "heat waste" generated from natural gas pipelines and turning that into energy for its Utah site. Barring any unforeseen power failures, the company's green data center won't ever have to rely on the local grid. And that independence should ensure eBay users keep bidding and buying and filling the company's coffers.
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