[SIGCIS-Members] Latest news from Northern Virginia

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Mon Jan 17 10:12:18 PST 2022

Recent statistics from Cushman & Wakefield show Northern Virgnina having by far the largest concentration of Data Centers in the world, way ahead of Silicon Valley, among other places. They call the centers around Ashburn, Virginia "Data Center Alley," although most followers of SIGCIS know it as "Internet Alley" 🙂.  Ashburn is running out of room, so now there are plans to build centers in nearby Manassas. That has gotten the attention of Ken Burns, of all people, who feel the centers will be too close to the Civil War battlefield.  The news article talks about gigawatts of power used by the Data Centers, but they don't say where the power comes from. Dominion Energy, the principal supplier, is committed to renewable sources, including wind farms off-shore.  But the centers still rely to a large extent on a large coal-fired plant in Mount Storm, West Virginia. It is due to be phased out, but not for a while.

TL;DR: if you use a smartphone, you're burning coal.


Northern Virginia still tops global data center markets (and, what’s a gigawatt?) | WTOP News<https://wtop.com/business-finance/2022/01/n-virginia-still-tops-global-data-center-markets-and-whats-a-gigawatt/>
Cushman & Wakefield’s 2022 rankings of the Top 10 Data Center markets in the world places Northern Virginia at the top, a title it has held for years. And it is not even close. Silicon Valley ...
Ken Burns Speaks Out About Proposed Digital Data Center Near Manassas<https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2022/01/ken-burns-speaks-out-about-proposed-digital-data-center-near-manassas>
A digital data center being considered for more than 2,000 acres next to Manassas National Battlefield Park has been called the "greatest threat" in recent history to the battlefield and drawn opposition from filmmaker Ken Burns, who has urged Prince William County officials to oppose the project.
Paul Ceruzzi
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