Amazon has applied for fast track planning permission to build three more data centers in Loudoun County, the Northern Virginia hotspot.
The project will cost $200 million, and place new facilities on 90 acres of land which the web giant bought in 2019 for $116 million. The data centers are needed to support the continued growth of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud service.
Globally, hyperscale operators, including cloud providers like AWS, are building at record levels. In the last quarter of 2019, they spent well over $32 billion, according to Synergy Research Group.
Amazon paid top dollar for the land, which had been previously valued at less than $20 million. It was previously owned by Inova Health Systems Foundation. The development is planned to deliver around 300,000 sq ft (28,000 sq m), with the bulk (260,000 sq ft) included in the first of three phases.
The work will be carried out by civil engineering firm JCL Consulting, and the deal was put through by Jason Fogle, a real estate acquisition and development representative for AWS, according to the Washington Business Journal. The project is expected to create 40 jobs.
Cloud computing is booming as those who can are advised to switch to remote working. This project was obviously part of AWS' existing plans but is going to be needed to deal with rapidly growing demand. AWS has issued a statement saying it expects to handle the growth in demand created by the coronavirus outbreak: “We have taken measures to prepare and we are confident we will be able to meet customer demands for capacity in response to Covid-19.”
AWS, which controls roughly 47.8 percent of the cloud computing market, accounts for more than half of Amazon's overall operating income, according to its latest earnings reports. It has data centers in operation across Loudoun County, the world's data center hub, and more on the way - including several being developed on its behalf north of Route 606 in Sterling by Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC).