AWS has come up with alternative ways get power to a proposed campus in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia, after residents objected to overhead powerlines along Route 50.

The cloud giant, working with Dominion Power, has made three alternative proposals to route power to the 100-acre Chantilly campus where it has proposed a 1.75m sq ft (162,000 sq m) data center development. Details are scarce, but local authorities are believed to be likely to get approval, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Crossing the line

electricity pylon power line distribution Thinkstock gyn9038
– Thinkstock gyn9038

The campus, at 25020 Willard Road in Chantilly south of Dulles International Airport, is awaiting approval by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors. An answer was expected last month but it was delayed to November 5. Supervisor Matt Letourneau, R-Dulles, was one of the officials stimying the development until it agreed the data center wouldn't extend 150-foot power lines along the Route 50 corridor. The concern was for local residents in nearby neighborhoods.

The data center’s alternative power plans involve Dominion Energy constructing a more discreet infrastructure that meets both the facility's needs. Following the agreement with officials, Dominion promised it will not construct a power line along Route 50 but will instead offer three less visible solutions running off the road. The agreement was filed as a letter to the county's board along with an agreement from AWS.

Letourneau said: "They are required to include the Route 50 path analysis in their application to the State Corporation Commission, but it will be a section about why their route does not work. I also received a letter from AWS supporting that position.”

AWS has been investing heavily in Virginia's Data Center Alley, acquiring the 100-acre Chantilly property in late 2019 for $73m from H&M Gudelsky Asset Management. Not just in terms of data centers but also administratively, the company is also setting up an office in the Commonwealth as it vies with competitors for federal contracts.