The schedule of Terremark's Culpeper, Virginia data center may be slowed by a dispute over the route of a new power line from the local utility, Dominion Power (thanks to reader Paolo Gorgo for the link). The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors last week postponed a vote on a new 115-kilovolt line that would increase capacity for the new Terremark data center campus, which includes a first phase featuring a 102,000 square foot facility on Technology Drive. Terremark recently began construction on the new facility, which is scheduled to open in June 2008.
At the Board of Supervisors' meeting last week, residents raised concerns about the route of the new power line, which would run through an area that includes homes, farms, historic sites and Culpeper National Cemetery. The proposed line would include taller towers that would limit Dominion's need to acquire right-of-way clearances.
The supervisors voted 5-2 to wait until next month's meeting to make a decision on the power line's route, with the two dissenters saying that the move "would delay Dominion's ability to serve Terremark Worldwide on time." Catalpa Supervisor Sue Hansohn was unsympathetic. "If Terremark's delayed 30 days, they're delayed 30 days," Hansohn said.
Terremark isn't the only local company that will benefit from the expanded power capacity. Andy Ballew, plant manager for Merillat Industries, said his plant has struggled with capacity-related power outages. "This is not a short-term issue," Ballew told the board, saying it would be silly to argue over towers that would only be 30 feet taller. "It doesn't matter. It's already ugly. It's going to continue to be ugly and it's just one of the needs of this society that we have."
Dominion is examining its options if the board asks it to make changes in the route of the power line. Read the full story at the Culpeper Star Exponent.