PowerHouse Data Centers has been given zoning approval for a new campus in North Carolina.

Charlotte City Council recently voted 7-2 in favor of rezoning land in University City for PowerHouse to develop its first data center campus outside Virginia.

PowerHouse Rendering North Carolina Charlotte.png
– PowerHouse Data Centers

The decision for the 123.8 acres of land was made on September 18, after city staff changed their stance on the proposal and recommended approval.

City staff were previously concerned about the noise and environmental impact of the development and asked Rhyne Land Holdings LLC - which submitted the zoning request on behalf of PowerHouse Data Centers - to provide additional information on how they would mitigate this.

The site is located close to a Duke Energy substation and could see up to 2.5 million sq ft (232,260 sqm) of data center space developed.

Concerns were previously centered around how local residents would be impacted by the data center.

A city staff representative told the council: "Our main concern was noise impacts to the neighboring community to the south, which they've added some mitigation on and demonstrated where the buildings would be, which wasn't clear on the plans going into the hearing. We feel that we've gotten everything addressed on our side."

Some of the mitigations include keeping all buildings within certain limits to ensure they are far enough away from the residential areas, designing the buildings and equipment yards to be "inward facing," employing acoustic barriers and possibly a berm, mining the trees around the plot, and using more modern and quieter data center equipment.

In addition, the PowerHouse will provide an opportunity to the neighborhood for direct contact with the data center should noise begin to be a problem.

Two members of the council remained unconvinced and voted in opposition.

PowerHouse was founded by American Real Estate Partners (AREP) and Harrison Street in 2022. The company currently has a data center campus in Ashburn, Virginia, which was leased to CyrusOne in May 2023, and is planning developments on two other sites in the state.