Renewable Energy Companies In Virginia

Renewable Energy Companies In Virginia – San Francisco and “Silicon Valley” may come to mind when you think of the home of the big Internet companies, but the real heart of the Internet is on the East Coast, an area known as “Data Center Street” to the north. “Virginia. Data Center Alley, just outside of Washington, DC, is home to some of the most concentrated data centers in the world and is expanding exponentially. Loudoun County, Virginia, the center of Data Center Alley, claims that 70 percent of Internet traffic from the world travels across borders.

Data centers serve as factories of the information age; Their 24/7 operation makes it possible to surf, stream and communicate online, but transferring all this data requires a large amount of electricity. The growing demand for Internet-based platforms and services has dramatically expanded the size and number of data centers, making them one of the largest sources of new global electricity demand. Despite the worldwide spread of the Internet, this rapid expansion of data centers is not uniformly distributed, but highly concentrated, resulting in a significant increase in regional demand for electricity. Due to the need to switch away from fossil fuels as soon as possible to combat the most extreme effects of climate change, the use of local utility sources of power in these data center hotspots is of global importance.

Renewable Energy Companies In Virginia

Since 2010, it has regularly documented the global energy footprint of data centers, challenging and benchmarking the world’s Internet platforms and major data center operators to see if they are accelerating the transition to renewable energy or fueling climate change by increasing demand. Coal, gas and oil. At this time, more than 20 major Internet companies, including Facebook, Google and Apple, have made public commitments to power their digital infrastructure with 100 percent renewable energy, which amounts to 10 gigawatts of renewable energy already deployed worldwide. In America and abroad. These commitments have required local utilities to shift their investments in renewable power generation to meet the needs of existing data center customers or remain competitive to attract new investments as consumers are willing to work in the power sector.

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Top climate scientists have warned that we must shift our electricity generation from fossil fuels to renewable sources to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic impacts in the next 12 years. Powering data centers requires a lot of energy, and due to their rapid growth, how this digital infrastructure is powered is critical to determining whether climate change can be stopped in time to prevent planetary catastrophe.

Despite significant investments in renewable energy in other data center hotspots, such as Iowa, the dramatic expansion of data center traffic in Virginia is increasing demand for coal and natural gas. Currently, Virginia’s energy production is dominated by fossil fuels, with less than 5 percent coming from renewable sources, which lags far behind other regions. Dominion Energy, Virginia’s largest electricity supplier and Data Center Alley’s primary power utility, has strongly opposed the transition to renewable energy, which currently accounts for only 4 percent of its generation and plans that to more than 10 percent. 2030 year.

In fact, Dominion has used growing data center demand to justify significant new investments in natural gas distribution and production capacity, most notably the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which will deliver fracked gas to Virginia and North Carolina. If allowed to move forward, the ACP would move Virginia in the opposite direction to support carbon emissions at 1.5 degrees of warming, which would further increase gas consumption.

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Dominion has no supply of renewable energy, requiring significant new investment in fossil fuels, delaying Virginia’s transition to clean energy sources and making it more expensive. However, several large data center companies committed to 100 percent renewable energy continue to rapidly expand their operations in Virginia, increasing demand for dirty electricity, with Amazon Web Services the biggest culprit. Amazon Web Services (AWS) ranked as one of Dominion Energy’s largest electricity customers when it committed to 100 percent renewable energy in late 2014, and the analysis found that AWS tripled its data center operations in Virginia. Although AWS added significant local renewable energy in 2015-2016, electricity in Virginia during that period was exceeded by the additional electricity supply from its renewable projects.

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As of 2017, AWS dropped its 100 percent renewable energy commitment, increasing Virginia’s already extensive operations by 59 percent and eliminating additional renewable energy sources. In fact, with a dominant market share of cloud computing platforms and almost half of its facilities in Virginia, AWS is a silent partner in Dominion’s growth strategy because of the pull it has created among other data center operators. We want to encourage our customers to connect directly with AWS’s large operations in Virginia.

Of the 13 companies in the report that operate their data centers in Virginia, only Facebook and Microsoft have managed to secure a significant supply of renewable energy in Virginia. If Amazon and other Internet companies continue to rapidly expand data centers in Virginia, Dominion will allow its strategy of using growing data center demand to justify large new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, they will be responsible for large new investments. And fossil fuels, which our planet cannot afford.

The rapid growth of the energy demand of the IT industry in Virginia is consistent with the urgent need to shift global energy consumption to renewable energy. Without the intervention of data center operators in Virginia, the Internet will continue to emit carbon with every click, swipe and share.

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In the last 20 years, the Internet has spread rapidly across the globe and is now in demand through smartphones, tablets and laptops all over the world. If you’re looking for the heart of the global Internet that powers our lives, Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC is the epicenter of the Internet. Scattered in almost every direction from the airport, the converted farmland that once marked the first battle of the US Civil War is a concentration of the world’s largest data centers: large, unassuming buildings filled with computing equipment that serve as factories of the digital economy. . . Northern Virginia has more than 100 data centers and more than 10 million square feet of data center space between Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William counties.

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Loudoun County alone is claimed to handle 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic each day.

A telecommunications infrastructure that facilitated fast data delivery, accessible terrain and cheap electricity developed Northern Virginia into the digital hub it is today. While the recent boom in large data centers can be attributed to Virginia’s tax benefits, AWS’s presence as the largest piece of global infrastructure is attracting other large data center operators. Market your operations with a direct connection to AWS. Recently, new submarine high-speed data connections from Virginia Beach to Europe and Africa are attracting significant data center investment in Henrico and southeast Virginia.

Northern Virginia represents the heart of the physical Internet. It now has more than 100 large data centers in Ashburn, Virginia.

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Virginia’s data center market is not only the largest in the world, but is growing faster than any other region. According to commercial real estate Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Virginia had more multi-tenant data center new construction in the first half of 2018 than the next four largest sites combined. In total, JLL estimates 645 MW of additional capacity planned or under construction next year.

By 2021, Dominion Energy expects to increase power sales to data center customers by 10 percent annually to drive demand to 2.4 terawatt hours.

Excluding government data centers, we estimate a power demand of 4.5 gigawatts for the two existing data centers in Virginia, equivalent to about nine large (500 MW) coal-fired power plants.

This explosive growth of data centers and the energy sources that power them are important questions

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