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20 October 2023

2 min read

The latest Dominion Energy news sparks interest in the surge of Southern Virginia’s data center market.

Virginia, already the globe’s largest market for cloud computing infrastructure is on the precipice of renewed growth. In a piece by Data Center Frontier, Dominion Energy recently revealed ambitious plans that could double the data centre capacity in Virginia by 2028, expanding the market to 10 gigawatts by 2035. Such growth (from 2.67 gigawatts) highlights the increasing demand for digital services and the need for significant infrastructure development to support this expansion.

Duke McCaffrey has witnessed a substantial surge in demand for their services, a testament to their proven expertise in delivering substations with capacities of up to 250MW. This news of growth can be verified by the Duke McCaffrey (DMC) US team, who have recently secured their largest contract in the area, underscoring our industry-leading performance.

Virginia's unique position as the home of the cloud has attracted data centres from major tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Apple. These facilities have significantly boosted Virginia's economy, providing jobs, salaries, and tax revenues for local governments. The Viriginia market also looks set to capitalize on the AI boom which will only fuel further demand.

To meet the growing power demands of data centres, Dominion Energy has initiated extensive improvements to its transmission and substation infrastructure. The company has submitted numerous project proposals to the PJM Interconnection, an organization responsible for coordinating utility expansion across the Eastern United States.

Understandably, environmentalists and community organisations have raised concerns over the prospect of additional data centres and power infrastructure in Virginia. However, it is important to highlight that significant work is being undertaken to ensure all environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues are addressed – from utility providers to the data centre operators and their supply chain. Data centres are under intense scrutiny and heavily regulated by compliance to ensure they are part of a sustainable circular economy.

DMC are looking into opportunities to re use heat generated by its Data Center projects. By doing so Data Center Operators can offset their higher energy use by reducing the energy needs/consumption of their neighbors.

The well-established global data centre team at DMC are known for delivering to the highest standards of sustainability. It’s no surprise that the team’s specialism in Mechanical and Electrical cost consultancy and project management has resulted leading on sustainable data centre design.