Aligned: Aligned Gets Maryland Data Center Planning Permission

May 18, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Planning approval has been given for Aligned Data Centers to build a data center on the enormous Quantum Loophole campus in Frederick County, Maryland. Last week, the Frederick County Planning Commission authorized the initial site plan for the Quantum Loophole campus's first data center. The plot Aligned has at the Quantum Loophole campus is part of the company's plan, according to Frederick County. The commission voted 4-3 to approve Aligned's request to build IAD04, a 450,000-square-foot facility with 42 generators on a 75-acre site.

The 2,200-acre 1GW campus, which is 25 miles north of Ashburn in Adamstown, is built around the site of the former Alcoa Eastalco Works aluminum smelting plant. The company is also building a new fiber loop stretching 40+ miles from the campus south to Leesburg in the neighboring Virginia county of Loudoun. The QLoop ring, one of two crossings of the Potomac River, recently finished the second one. Q2 2024 will launch the system.

Aligned Data Centers was the first to announce campus data center projects in May 2022. At the time, Aligned Data Centers CEO Andrew Schaap cited Frederick County's "attractive tax exemptions, power availability, and proximity to Northern Virginia" as reasons for its choice. The company had previously stated on its website that it was planning four multi-story buildings with a combined capacity of 1.3 million square feet and 192 megawatts, or 325,000 square feet and 48 megawatts per facility. Aligned, however, made it known that it plans 3.3 million square feet and 264 MW.

On the site, preliminary work has already started. The company's plot is situated in the heart of the Quantum Loophole campus. Quantum Loophole has apparently contracted with four other companies for the entire 240MW phase one capacity.

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