Micron estimates needing up to 48 million gallons of water a day, aiming to achieve 100% water conservation
At the initial time of Micron's announcement of the $100 billion megafab project in the town of Clay in central New York, the chip company estimated they would need about 20 million gallons of water a day. Micron is undergoing its environmental impact study now and the estimated water needed per day when the project is completed has more than doubled, to 48 million gallons.
Micron's Senior Director of U.S. Expansion Carson Henry said that 48 million gallons of water is an estimate, planning for every eventuality over the next 20 years.
"What we expect is that through that time we're going to work on our aim to have 100% water conservation going to be used for recycling and restoration," Henry said. "As new technology comes along, we're going to incorporate that into our operations and I would expect that that number actually goes down not up."
Micron is working with the Onondaga Water Authority and there is an existing transmission line to the project site from Lake Ontario, which has capacity to support Micron's initial fab. But as additional fabs are built, upgrades will be needed for the water treatment plant, pumping stations and transmission lines.
Henry said when they eventually do need another line, estimating it'll be in the 2030s, they'll be able to run it parallel to the existing line, so he expects minimal disruptions. Most of the water will come from Lake Ontario.
Micron also aims to achieve 100% renewable electricity at the site. The company aims to have a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions from operations and purchased energy by 2050.
"Our first task is try to reduce the amount that we use and then we also want to explore green hydrogen," Henry said. "In the term sheet, we committed to going and exploring that. We'd like to have some sort of infrastructure where you take advantage of that type of fuel in the future, but it needs more development."
Green hydrogen is hydrogen created by renewable energy without greenhouse gas emissions.
The first two fabs are expected to be operational by 2032, with the full build-out of the Micron campus complete with fabs 3 and 4 in 2043. Each fab is expected to occupy about 1.2 million square feet of land.
"It'll be one of the biggest fabs in the world, and it'll be the biggest fab in Micron's network," Henry said.
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