How many data centers currently exist in Virginia? How many proposals are in the works? These are very good questions. It’s also extremely difficult to provide an answer, given there is no publicly available dataset or state-level tracking of these facilities. In response, The Piedmont Environmental Council has pulled together an online web map showing existing data center facilities (that we are aware of), along with pending data center proposals we have found on various town and county websites, as well as through various news outlets.
In the interest of good governance and transparency, The Piedmont Environmental Council filed a lawsuit yesterday against Orange County for improperly denying public access to documents pertaining to a local rezoning application, in violation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit comes after Orange County officials were unresponsive to PEC’s petition for a Writ of Mandamus, served on Oct. 26, which gave county officials a number of days to correct their VFOIA deficiencies. The lawsuit reflects PEC’s growing concern about the dramatic loss of public access to information about land use decisions in Orange County and across the Commonwealth.
The size, scale, and speed at which applications for data center projects are coming in and being approved is astounding.
Just this month, massive proposals moved forward in Culpeper, Louisa, and King George counties, with more being reviewed in Caroline and Stafford counties. Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Fauquier counties all have multiple active proposals for hyperscale data centers, which can demand hundreds of megawatts of power per campus. As an example, the data center campus just approved in King George County could total more than 1,200 MW alone.