A startup is marketing renewable energy campuses across the US to host data centers.

Aston offers self-contained, grid-independent ‘clean energy campuses’ which it says can help businesses design and build new industrial projects (data centers, cold storage, warehouses, and more) powered directly by on-site clean energy sources including wind, solar, and geothermal.

Render of Aston's off-grid 'clean campuses' – Aston

Each campus is designed around a customer’s specific needs. The company claims that because its campuses can be built without grid permits and upgrades, the timeline to begin operations is “years faster” than if full grid interconnection were required.

This week, Aston announced a “Rapid Development Program (RDP) for clean data centers,” in partnership with JLL, to market its data centers to end users seeking near-term ramps to power 300MW+.

JLL will manage site selection for the RDP and oversee the leasing process. Aston said it will leverage JLL’s microgrid expertise to right-size its infrastructure investments to tenants.

Aston said its first campuses will be located in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and elsewhere, and its existing development pipeline represents 2GW of power. Projects started in 2024 will go live in 2026. Further details weren’t shared.

“Utilities were not designed to meet the needs of data centers and large power users and they are failing to keep up with the ever-expanding need for power. The Aston Campuses are purpose-built to meet this demand and support the needs of the world’s most respected companies as they work to run their supply chains exclusively on clean energy,” said Greg Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Aston.

“We have a world-class partner in JLL that is on the forefront of data center development. They have an unrivaled depth of knowledge of the market, as well as an extraordinary team of multidisciplinary experts who have deep technical experience. Through this partnership, we will swiftly move forward with our demand-driven approach in deploying clean data centers.”

Aston was founded by CEO Greg Robinson and CTO Ed McKenzie. Robinson previously founded and led Drift, a venture-backed, FERC-licensed retail power company that created the first 24x7 commercial carbon-free energy contract. He was also CTO at Questar Energy Systems, which focused on building a network of distributed solar systems.

McKenzie, who also co-founded Drift, previously held software roles at Microsoft and Google, amongst others.

“Commercial and consumer demands for energy-intensive technologies have grown exponentially. Carbon capture and carbon credits will not be enough,” added Mark To, EVP within JLL’s data center markets team. "What is needed is a new prioritization of clean energy – one that is cheaper, accessible, and meets today’s needs, and Aston delivers exactly this.”