The US city of Seattle, Washington is considering a plan to use heat recovered from data centres in a district heating network.

Home to Microsoft and numerous other technology companies, Seattle has no shortage of data centres. The district energy network under consideration by the city’s Office of Sustainability and Environment would use excess heat from two local data centres to provide hot water and heat to several neighbourhoods.
A partnership between the city and utility company Corix Utilities has completed a feasibility study and is in the process of developing district energy networks in three neighbourhoods, fueled by excess heat from sewer lines and hospitals as well as data centres. District heating is expected to get underway early this year in one of the neighbourhoods, and later this year in another.

While a district heating network in Helsinki, Finland is run on recovered heat from an Atos data centre, Seattle’s would be the first such US project. A similar project is in the works in Leeds, UK.