Aligned Data Centers is planning a major expansion in Phoenix, continuing the dynamic growth of cloud infrastructure in the region. Aligned has acquired land for two new campuses, and plans to deploy 400 megawatts of capacity and more than 2 million square feet of data center space.
The announcement is the latest in a series of expansion for Aligned, which now has 470 megawatts (MWs) of data center construction projects in the pipeline across the U.S.
“Aligned is focused on meeting the capacity demands of our customers today, while constantly innovating across every aspect of our business to ensure their future data center requirements will be met long term,” says Andrew Schaap, CEO of Aligned. “Our expansion in greater Phoenix is an example of Aligned’s power-first approach to asset procurement as well as strategic investments across our design and construction, supply chain and vendor managed inventory program, and team to deliver capacity at maximum speed and scale.”
Aligned is a technology infrastructure developer that solves data center capacity management challenges through innovation in cooling and the supply chain. Aligned’s ability deliver capacity quickly has been a key selling point for large customers, and procuring land has become an especially important strategy for these clients.
Phoenix Market is Heating Up
Many of those large hyperscale operators want to have data centers in Phoenix, which has emerged as one of the strongest growth markets for cloud computing. Phoenix saw 280 megawatts of data center capacity absorbed in the first six months of 2022, according to data from JLL, making it the strongest leasing market in North America in the first half of 2022. Nearly every leading developer is working to add capacity to meet demand.
Aligned has an existing campus in Phoenix, featuring a 550,000 square data center that has been expanded in three phases. In March the company announced plans to build PHX-04, a build-to-suit facility for an unnamed customer with “an aggressive construction timeline.”
The company did not share any details on the location of the new campus sites within the Phoenix market, which has grown outside the city with the development of sub-markets in Chandler, Mesa and Goodyear.
Water scarcity is a major issue for Phoenix, especially in the wake of new restrictions that will reduce the water Arizona gets from the Colorado Basin by 21 percent. Meanwhile, the extreme heat and drought in the Western US is bringing sharper scrutiny of data center water use in Phoenix amid concerns that they may compete with local residents for access to water. Some of the media coverage has highlighted the enormous water used by some data center cooling technologies.
Aligned operates its data centers using a “waterless” heat rejection system that has a dramatically reduced impact on local water systems. In 2020, the company estimated that its fluid cooler system at its original Phoenix data center saved 24 million gallons of water a year. The company shared the details of its water preservation strategies in Phoenix in a white paper.
Sustainability has long been an emphasis for Aligned, which has matched the entire energy footprint of its data centers with purchases of renewable energy. The company has also raised much of its expansion capital using sustainability-linked loans (SLL), in which the borrower earns a lower interest rate by hitting benchmarks for sustainable practices.
Aligned Continues Expanding its Footprint
Aligned is expanding with new projects in multiple markets across the Untied States, including a number of build-to-suit projects:
- Aligned will expand its presence in Northern Virginia with a four-story data center on a new campus in Sterling. The 72-megawatt data center will be a build-to-suit project for a hyperscale customer, and is expected to come online in Fall 2023.
- In Dallas, Aligned has begun construction on a second data center building on its campus in Plano. Once complete, DFW-02 will be 220,000 F and offer 36 MW of critical capacity across 185,000 SF of data hall space.
- In June, Aligned announced a third data center in Salt Lake City, a build-to-suit project that will add 100 MWs of capacity for a hyperscale customer.
- In May, Aligned signed an agreement to acquire land, power, and water at Quantum Loophole’s massive new data center campus in Adamstown, Maryland, the companies said today. The deal is an important step in extending the Northern Virginia cloud cluster into Frederick County, which sits across the Potomac from Data Center Alley in Ashburn.
- In April, the company said it will begin construction on a second data center at its campus in Northlake, Illinois in the Suburban Chicago market.