Northern Virginia: Dominion Energy and PowerHouse Discover Solution to The Data Center Power Difficulties in Loudoun.

Mar 30, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

PowerHouse anticipates that the 265,000-square-foot building will be occupied by tenants in July, with complete construction scheduled for completion in October. Nonetheless, there is a pervasive power issue. Buddy Rizer, head of Loudoun County Economic Development, stated that each project has a unique answer. The concept for PowerHouse's ABX-1 project involves collaborating with Dominion to construct a new 300-megawatt substation on the 10-acre land where its first data center will be built. PowerHouse works by acquiring property and constructing data center shells with power for data center operator tenants, who then lease the campuses and assume management. According to a representative from PowerHouse, it is also offering land for a substation that will deliver up to 80 megawatts of electricity to PowerHouse's data center and neighboring clients in the vicinity of Loudoun. Dominion's lack of transmission lines — which the company has identified as a restriction — is the other factor in assuring that future construction will get long-lasting electricity. 

After conducting a study in the autumn to determine the present transmission capacity and the status of upcoming transmission and substation projects, Dominion has taken an additional measure to fulfill the region's needs. Dominion opted to expedite some of these scheduled projects to satisfy growing demand until 2026. A spokesman for Dominion stated that they include replacing cables on three existing transmission lines to increase electricity capacity, extending the current Goose Creek substation, and constructing two new transmission lines in the long run. 

According to a PowerHouse representative, construction on this substation began in early March and is projected to be completed by the end of 2025. Per the company, this will be the first of PowerHouse's planned data center buildings in Loudoun County, representing a $1 billion investment — with six powered shell data centers totaling 2.1 million square feet to follow. PowerHouse Arcola, a 23-acre project with two data center buildings totaling 364,100 square feet, is under fast-track status with the county's economic development agency and is scheduled for 2025 or 2026, according to the company's website and Rizer's confirmation. Moreover, a prospective idea exists for four powered shell data centers on Pacific Boulevard in Ashburn, the former location of AOL's headquarters.