The Commonwealth of Virginia markets itself as “The Largest Data Center Market in the World.” In 2019, the Northern Virginia market alone was the largest in the United States by inventory, with room to grow. In 2021, data centers in Northern Virginia required an estimated 1,686 megawatts of power; that number is expected to increase by 200 megawatts in the near future, reflecting data centers currently under development. For reference, in 2022, it was estimated that more than 100 homes could be powered by one megawatt of solar power in Virginia. Historically, data centers have been located in the Commonwealth due to “the fiber-optic network in Northern Virginia, proximity to Washington, D.C., relatively low-cost energy and a concerted early effort on the part of Loudoun County.” Today, these massive concrete and metal structures dot the landscape of Northern Virginia, can be found on the outskirts of Richmond, and are beginning to migrate to more remote parts of the state.

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