Aligned Expanding to N. Virginia With Plans for Enormous Campus

Aligned Energy announced plans to build a 180MW data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia•The company is going after hyperscale and sub-hyperscale cloud customers in one of the hottest data center markets•Northern Virginia rounds out the company’s geographic coverage, adding an East Coast location to a portfolio that includes sites in Central and Western US

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

September 11, 2018

2 Min Read
Entrance to the Aligned Energy data center in Plano, Texas
Entrance to the Aligned Energy data center in Plano, TexasAligned Energy

Aligned Energy, the Plano, Texas-based provider that allows its clients to increase or scale back the amount of data center capacity they lease as they go, is expanding to Northern Virginia, and it’s going in big.

On a 26-acre plot in Ashburn, the company is planning to build what it says will ultimately be an 880,000-squre foot, 180MW data center campus, powered by two on-site substations.

There, it’s going after the same category of clients its peers in the market have been banking on in recent years: hyperscale and sub-hyperscale cloud platforms.

Aligned made the announcement Monday, saying it will start with 370,000-square foot, 80MW building. The second one, to be built later on, will bring the campus to the 180MW of total capacity planned, the company said.

Gigantic data center campuses have become the norm in Northern Virginia, one of the biggest and most active data center markets in the world. Hyperscale cloud platforms have flocked to the region in recent years, building computing infrastructure there so they can take advantage of all the network infrastructure they can access there. Network connectivity has been the biggest draw in Northern Virginia.

These platforms, operated by the likes of Facebook, Apple, and Google, lease data center capacity in large chunks – sometimes tens of megawatts at a time – pushing data center developers like Digital Realty Trust, RagingWire, and QTS to build ever larger campuses to take advantage of the demand.

Aligned launched its first data center in Plano in 2015, and two years later expanded into the Phoenix market. Earlier this year, the company announced plans for a 50MW facility outside of Salt Lake City.

The Ashburn location rounds out its geographic coverage in the US, adding an East Coast location to a portfolio that already includes Western and Central US.

In April, a new investor came onboard. Investment fund Macquarie Infrastructure Partners joined existing backer BlueMountain Capital Management, control of the company now split between the two investors.

Aligned uses original cooling technology developed by its subsidiary Inertech to differentiate. Also used by eBay, Lenovo, and Telus, the technology enables the data center provider to offer flexible capacity to its customers, allowing them to expand or shrink their footprint within Aligned facilities as needed, paying only for what they use.

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