DFT Building Massive New Data Center in Ashburn

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An aerial view of DuPont Fabros Technology’s Ashburn Corporate Center, showing the five existing data centers and the future location of the new ACC7 facility. (Image: DuPont Fabros)

DuPont Fabros Technology has begun work on a huge new data center on its campus in Ashburn Corporate Center campus in northern Virginia, the company said Tuesday. The new ACC7 facility will be the largest project yet for the data center developer, with a whopping 41.6 megawatts of power.

The company has been signaling its intent to build additional space in northern Virginia for some time. Now that it has completely filled its ACC6 data center, DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) sees the need to have additional capacity ready for its customers, which include some of the fastest-growing Internet companies.

“Leasing has been very strong at the Ashburn campus,” said Hossein Fateh, President and CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology. “Historically, as we announce a new building, a considerable amount of space gets pre-leased prior to delivery. Given the strength of this market, we have commenced development of 11.89 megawatts of ACC7, and expect it to be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.”

More Capacity, but Smaller Increments

The new data center will bring substantial new inventory online in one of the industry’s busiest markets. DFT has previously built its facilities in phases of 13 megawatts at a time. ACC7 will feature the first use of a new design that allows the company to add capacity in smaller chunks. For ACC7, the base “building block” will be 5.9 megawatts, with the first phase comprising two blocks of space.

Fateh says the new design can work in increments as small as 4.5 megawatts and still meet DuPont Fabros’ goals for return on its investment.

“We expect 3 major benefits from the new design,” said Fateh. “First, we expect to achieve a PUE of 1.2 directly benefiting our tenant’s overall expense structure. Second, moving to a single electrical ring bus provides more resiliency and help us decrease our development cost. Third, we’re now capable of delivering our products in smaller increments, which enables us to accurately match supply and demand while reducing the risk of CapEx spend and carrying costs.”

DuPont Fabros said it expects the construction of the conduit system and first 11.89 megawatts of capacity to cost between $7 million and $7.9 million per megawatt, for a total cost of $155 million to $160 million.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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