Amazon Web Services plans to invest $35 billion in Virginia data centers

Amazon Web Services plans to invest $35 billion in Virginia data centers

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin introduced Friday that Amazon Web Services plan to invest $35 billion in new data centers in the state by 2040, ensuing in the largest economic investment in the commonwealth’s historical past.

The legislature nonetheless has to approve hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in incentives, however a information launch from the governor’s workplace said General Assembly leaders in each events are supportive of the pending deal.

According to the Associated Press, if authorised, Amazon would obtain incentives from a brand new Mega Data Center Incentive Program and a grant of up to $140 million for workforce improvement web site enhancements and different prices.

In a tweet, Youngkin stated the funding is predicted to generate greater than 1,000 jobs throughout the state, considerably lower than the 25,000 job openings that got here with Amazon’s determination to construct a second headquarters in Arlington County in 2018.


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin delivers his State of the Commonwealth deal with to a joint session of the Virginia legislature in the House chamber in Richmond, Va., Jan. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/John C. Clark)

The grant’s precise quantity might be decided by what number of jobs are created, as said in laws into consideration by the General Assembly, the AP reported. It may even embody non permanent exemptions from a gross sales and use tax imposed on Virginia data centers.

Youngkin’s workplace stated the areas of the data centers could be decided at a later date. Bills just lately proposed in the state legislature would improve rules on the place the centers could be constructed.

Data centers have change into a politically risky subject, particularly in northern Virginia (NOVA), the place the buildings are seemingly in all places. Loudoun County, often known as “Data Center Alley,” boasts the biggest focus of data centers in the nation with 115 in 27 million sq. ft of operational area, according to Dgtl Infra.

While tech companies want the NOVA space due to the area’s historical past as a community entry level, many residents have been vocal in regards to the noise and environmental considerations that include the construction inflow.

Data centers, which home laptop servers and {hardware} wanted to help web use, require high-powered followers and intensive cooling capacities that may be fairly noisy, the AP stated. They additionally devour  huge of electrical energy that may require the development of high-voltage transmission traces to help them.


Protestors against data centers in northern Virginia

Spencer Snakard, president of Protect Fauquier, speaks Aug. 29, 2022, at a rally close to Manassas, Va., protesting a newly constructed data heart for Amazon Web Services. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

Prince William County resident Bill Wright, who opposed an enormous data heart enlargement just lately authorised by the county regardless of opposition throughout the neighborhood, stated Friday’s announcement proves the affect of big tech money has change into “intoxicating to our legislators.”

While he doesn’t object to data centers as a complete, Wright instructed the AP he hopes the state will place them in areas that do not hurt the setting and in rural areas the place jobs are wanted.

“Northern Virginia is being overwhelmed by this stuff,” he stated. “We could as effectively begin calling ourselves the Commonwealth of Amazon.”

He additionally stated he’s skeptical that the state will arise to tech corporations that need the centers in northern Virginia.

State Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, is the sponsor of a invoice proscribing the position of data centers close to pure or historic sources.

“In my opinion, the data centers are short-term monetary beneficial properties with long-term environmental penalties. Industrial buildings with no precise employees usually are not the economic system of the longer term,” he stated. “In reality, they could be out of date in a decade. Meanwhile, we’re dropping helpful farmland and historic websites.”

Petersen stated Virginia dangers being overwhelmed by data centers if protections aren’t put in place.

Amazon hard hats in front of a crane

Hard hats with Amazon logos on the firm’s HQ2 improvement web site whereas below building at Metropolitan Park in Arlington, Va., on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. (Pete Kiehart/Bloomberg through Getty Images)


Suzanne Clark, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, stated Amazon Web Services is exploring a number of web site areas “in collaboration with the Commonwealth,” however particular websites weren’t given.

An Amazon Web Services spokesperson didn’t specify what number of data centers have been deliberate or Amazon’s location preferences.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.