Ashburn, Virginia has become one of the most prominent cities in America for building businesses, and for building and expanding data centers. Located in Loudoun County, Virginia, Ashburn has broken fiscal records in 2016. Ashburn started drawing data centers to build in the late 1990’s. Five years ago, Loudoun county housed 40 data centers that comprised roughly 4 Million square feet of space.
The current fiscal year started on July 1, 2015, and ran through June 30, 2016. Within that time, Loudoun County recruited or retained 71 businesses. These businesses invested $2.3 Billion dollars into Loudoun, which is the most investment revenue of any county in Virginia, and double what was invested in the 2015 fiscal year for Loudoun County.
The IT Industry has continued to remain among the most booming of enterprises in Loudoun County. Ashburn is an ideal place to build and maintain a data center. So many have been built in the last several years that Ashburn has been dubbed “Data Center Alley,” and rivals other booming markets including Silicon Valley.
There are many reasons why Ashburn’s Business Climate offers a better home to data centers and colocations including inexpensive power supplies. The average power rate for the last five years has hovered at around 6.0 cents per kWh, as compared to 7.4 cents per kWh in other areas of the United States. Currently, the average power rate paid by data centers in Loudoun costs 28% below the United States’ national average.
Loudoun land space is conveniently located 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C., and thus is easily accessible. Loudoun County is relatively risk free of Natural Disasters occurring, including a very low risk of an earthquake occurring. An earthquake has not occurred in Loudoun since 1931, and the likelihood of an earthquake occurring in the next 50 years is 0.64%.
Loudoun offers incentives to data centers that build within the county including: a six percent sales and use tax exemption on servers, server equipment, generators and chillers. Because of these incentives, and the ideal location and inexpensive powering costs, many prominent colocations and other data centers have chosen a Loudoun County location.
Currently, Data Center Alley has 9 Million square feet that is devoted to data centers that are currently operational or under development within Loudoun—specifically 6 Million square feet of data centers are currently operational and 3 Million square feet of data centers are being planned or developed. Loudoun is currently home to 60 data centers with over 3000 technology companies housed within them. Loudoun touts that up to 70% of the world’s internet traffic flows through Loudoun data centers each day. Among the big name companies that have built data centers in Loudoun are: Cyrus One, Digital Reality, Dupont Fabrus Technology, Equinox, RagingWire, and Sabey Corporation.
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