How Tech Companies Are Powering Their Operations With Nuclear And Renewables

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In a noteworthy move, Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently acquired Talen Energy’s 960MW data center campus in Pennsylvania, which draws power from the neighboring 2.5GW Susquehanna nuclear power station. The $650 million deal is not only a significant investment for AWS but also a clear indicator of a broader trend in the tech industry: companies are increasingly turning to nuclear and renewable energy sources to power their data center operations.

AWS is not alone. MicrosoftMSFT +1.5% has taken a step toward nuclear power as well, signing a deal last year with Helion Energy, a private U.S. nuclear fusion company. Helion is expected to provide Microsoft with electricity after about five years, marking the first such power purchase agreement for fusion energy. While it remains to be seen whether Helion will be able to follow through on its ambitious promise to deliver reliable fusion energy in five years, the mere fact that such a reputable company as Microsoft was willing to sign on to the agreement gives reason to be optimistic.

The trend toward exploring cutting edge energy sources to power their operations extends beyond these two tech giants. Cryptocurrency mining companies, often criticized for their high energy consumption, are also making strides in procuring electricity from nuclear and renewable sources.

For instance, Aspen Creek, a crypto mining firm, has a core principle of using renewable electricity, such as solar and wind, to power its mining operations. Similarly, Blockfusion and U.S. Bitcoin BTC 0.0% Corp are two companies that opened facilities in Niagara Falls to take advantage of the region’s abundant hydropower. Crypto mining is also playing a role in reducing emissions from oil production. By locating near oil fields, mining companies can support technologies that capture and use natural gas that would otherwise be flared or vented, thus reducing waste.

Crypto mining firms are also providing a boost to nuclear. TeraWulf, a mining firm, opened the first U.S. crypto mining facility powered entirely by nuclear energy in 2023. Additionally, Oklo, an energy startup planning to build advanced small nuclear reactors, has signed a 20-year deal with mining company Compass Mining.

Read the full article on Forbes.