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Prince William County racking up more data center space

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In a region known for its data centers, Prince William County has surpassed 3.5 million square feet of data center space.

According to the county’s Department of Economic Development, the data center industry has yielded 31 projects to date that have injected $6.2 billion in capital investment and 912 jobs into the county.

To keep growing that industry, Prince William has identified more than 10,000 acres to support data center commercial interests.

“This is a high-performing growth industry that supports high-paying STEM-related jobs and a talent pipeline for other fast growing enterprises,” Jeffrey Kaczmarek, executive director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development, said in a statement.  “The ever increasing demand for data at the speed of light now transcends every aspect of everyday life – from appointment-setting to video-watching – and it is this demand that continues to drive industry momentum.”

It’s estimated that the local data center industry yields about $4.30 in tax revenue to Prince William, for every $1 in county services the industry requires, according to the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Data Center Report.

Prince William is close to Ashburn in Loudoun County, which is known as Data Center Alley because of its concentration of more than 10 million square feet of data centers that are either in operation or under development.

As of December, Northern Virginia was the leading North America data center market with more than 30% of the market share and a record of 113.0 megawatts absorption of the total 357.85 megawatts in the top U.S. markets, according to JLL’s 2017 Data Center Outlook.  That’s nearly double the total for the nearest competing market, Northern California, which had 59.1 megawatts.

In its latest report on data centers, JLL notes that Northern Virginia has all six major data center REITs (real estate investments trusts) and the top five cloud providers developing in the market.

Currently, JLL says the area has a total of 12.6 million square feet of data center space, with 190 megawatts of new power under construction.

It credits Northern Virginia’s diverse offerings, access to global markets and fierce competition for creating user favorable conditions. Cloud providers, social media, enterprise and tech users are the main demand drivers behind data center growth in Northern Virginia. The area's fiber-rich internet infrastructure and its affordable cost of electricity -- an average of 5.2 cents per killowatt hour for data centers, are also competitivie advantages.


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