American Electric Power (AEP) recently qualified two business parks in the Commonwealth as prime locations ready for data center development—Roanoke County Center for Research and Technology and Wythe County Progress Park.
AEP operates in Virginia as Appalachian Power, and is one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., serving more than 5 million customers and generating more than 38,000 MW of capacity.
The company’s rigorous data center qualification process includes an independent review by location consulting firm Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company and energy advisory group Sugarloaf Associates. Suitable data center sites are selected based on their competitive electric rates, reliable and redundant power supply, strong fiber optic infrastructure, low risk of natural and manmade disasters, moderate climate and business-friendly environment.
Dominion has a similar program and has pre-certified six data center sites in Virginia—Low Moor Mine Site in Alleghany County, Hillcrest Industrial Park in Mecklenburg County, Roanoke River Regional Business Park in Mecklenburg County, Watkins Centre in Chesterfield County, Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield County and White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County.
Most notable about these prequalified locations is their geographic diversity across the Commonwealth. In addition to “Data Center Alley” in Northern Virginia, AEP and Dominion have prequalified sites across Central, Southern and Western Virginia.
Virginia data center announcements topped $1 billion in 2012, displaying Virginia’s leadership in the technology sector. More than 50 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through the Commonwealth’s state-of-the-art infrastructure.
To learn why more than 700 data processing and hosting establishments have recognized the benefits of a Virginia location, click here.