American colocation provider Aligned launched a 48MW hyperscale data center campus in Chicago on Tuesday, breaking ground on a second Chicago facility the same day.
The new Aligned sites are located close to Chicago O’Hare Airport, and are appropriately named ORD-01 and ORD-02.
The newly-launched ORD-01 offers 48MW of power capacity and 220,000 square feet of space, with room to expand to approximately 60MW.
When it’s finished, ORD-02 will offer 228,768 square feet of space and 36 MW of power – expandable to approximately 52MW.
To cool its data centers, Aligned uses a proprietary cooling system called Delta Cube, or Delta3, developed by its subsidiary Inertech. The design is an air-cooled adiabatic system comprised of modular components, deployed on slab floors and promising the ability to support racks with power density of up to 50kW.
Hyperscalers love Chicago
Aligned is currently operating or building data centers in Ashburn, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. According to Aligned CEO Andrew Schaap, “Chicago’s centralized location, long-haul connectivity, and access to renewable energy options make it an ideal geostrategic destination for hyperscalers and multinational enterprises to deploy their mission-critical infrastructure.”
In 2020, Aligned raised $1 billion in “sustainability-linked” debt to finance the company’s growth. That meant the company’s interest on the borrowed money would vary based on its performance against certain sustainability commitments, including renewable energy and data center worker safety goals. If it delivered on the commitments, it got a discount on the interest rate; if it didn’t, the rate would go up.
Since then, Aligned has started construction in multiple locations around the United States, and increased the original amount of funding to $1.25 billion.