Over the span of 72 hours last week, the fate of the two largest data center development efforts in the region around the industry’s Northern Virginia epicenter suffered serious setbacks that have spurred new concerns for a booming industry already facing a supply crunch.
On Wednesday, Aligned Data Centers withdrew from Quantum Loophole, a planned megacampus in Maryland where it was expected to be the anchor tenant, citing emissions restrictions that could make the entire campus unviable.
Two days later, officials in Prince William County, Virginia, recommended that lawmakers reject zoning changes required for the controversial Digital Gateway, a proposed assemblage of data center campuses that would be one of the largest concentrations of these facilities in the world.
Together, Quantum Loophole and Digital Gateway represent more than 2 gigawatts of data center capacity — more than exists in any market other than Northern Virginia, according to JLL. Should both projects fall through, it would be the equivalent of canceling the entire development pipeline in major data center hubs like Phoenix or Northern California. That could have a significant impact on an industry already struggling to develop new capacity quickly enough to meet record demand.