Virginia: Climate groups to launch new Virginia data center pressure group on Friday

Nov 29, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

A group of 20 environmental and climate groups will launch a coalition this week to rein in the data center industry across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Data Center Reform Coalition will call for limits to data center development at a press conference on Friday, December 1.

The Coalition’s announcement states, "The coalition is urging the state to evaluate the cumulative effects of data center development on the state's electrical grid, water resources, air quality, and land conservation efforts, and to institute several common-sense regulatory and rate-making reforms for this industry.”

They also call for transparency, noting that "land use decisions around data centers are occurring behind a veil of secrecy forged by nondisclosure agreements and VFOIA [Virginia Freedom of Information Act] violations." 

Julie Bolthouse, director of land use of The Piedmont Environmental Council said,  “Virginia has the largest data center market in the world, yet our regulatory oversight is behind other large markets in Europe and Asia that have also experienced data center demand exceeding available resources. The cumulative impacts of energy consumption, water usage, and thousands of backup diesel generators are not well understood, but already ratepayers are being asked to pay billions to expand electric infrastructure to generate and deliver massive amounts of power to the large hub in Loudoun.”

The Coalition's press conference will take place on Friday, December 1, at the Clearbrook Center for the Arts, in Lake Ridge, Virginia.