Aligned Data Centers inks fiber development agreement with Quantum Loophole

May 17, 2022
New agreement with "first-mover advantage" lays ground for future data center development via Quantum Loophole’s planned custom fiber build, QLoop.
Quantum Loophole, Inc.
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Quantum Loophole, Inc., a developer of innovative Gigawatt-scale master planned data center communities, on May 10 announced that Aligned Data Centers has signed an agreement to acquire land, power, and water at Quantum Loophole’s Frederick County, Maryland data center campus.

Aligned Data Centers is a technology infrastructure company offering sustainable and adaptive scale data centers and build-to-scale solutions for global hyperscale and enterprise customers. The company said its commitment to sustainability in future developments was a key driving force behind the decision to secure land in Quantum Loophole’s first mass-scale data center development project.

“Aligned’s ability to acquire power- and connectivity-rich land in strategic regions is critical to delivering infrastructure at the quality and velocity our customers have come to expect,” commented Andrew Schaap, CEO of Aligned Data Centers. “The attractive tax exemptions, power availability, proximity to Northern Virginia, and holistic approach to enabling data center development were key drivers in our decision to choose Frederick County. The expansion comes on the heels of Aligned’s ORD-01 data center launch and the groundbreaking of ORD-02 in Chicago, with 400+ MW of additional capacity planned in the Northern Virginia region alone.”

As cited by Aligned, Gartner projects global spending on data center systems will grow to $226 billion in 2022, up 11.4 percent year over year. The analyst finds demand for data center capacity is at an all-time high, spurred by digital transformation initiatives and demand for cloud services. As data center needs accelerate, the provider notes that associated land, power, water, and connectivity continue to be constrained, as the cost of land and the infrastructure required to support data center development also increases.

As recounted in a press release, the new agreement comes on the heels of Frederick County’s approval of an amendment to its Zoning Ordinance explicitly designating data centers as a permitted use in areas zoned light industrial or general industrial. The agreement provides Aligned with additional, strategic expansion capacity, enabling rapid scale to meet the needs of its customers in a highly land-and power-constrained region.

Frederick County will be Aligned’s third hyperscale data center campus in the region, with additional expansion planned for 2022. The company's "first mover advantage" helps ensure that Aligned can leverage the new Maryland data center tax incentives, it noted.

Located just 20 miles from the center of Ashburn, Virginia’s interconnection ecosystem in Loudoun County (about the same distance to Manassas), Quantum Loophole noted its Frederick County site not only provides the equivalent of Virginia’s sales and use tax exemption associated with data center infrastructure and servers, it also takes advantage of Maryland’s exemption of personal property tax on certain data center infrastructure and servers.

This aspect of the agreement could prove significantly beneficial to hyperscale, colocation and enterprise data center owners and operators.

Further, Quantum Loophole’s planned custom fiber build, QLoop, will connect the Frederick County site to Loudoun County, Virginia via an ultra-high count fiber-optic cable system, enabling automatic cross connections and fully redundant regional fiber connectivity capable of sub-millisecond latency between the two counties.

Josh Snowhorn, founder and CEO of Quantum Loophole, commented, “Location is everything in the data center industry, and Aligned Data Centers is one of the first to recognize this opportunity for their future development needs. Quantum Loophole identified a location in proximity to a market that has sparse availability for future development. With more than 2,100 acres of land, our Frederick County community is purposely designed to support mass-scale data center developments including gigawatts of power, recycled water, and dedicated connectivity in an automated environment. Our sales funnel is bursting with interest. Now is the time for companies to make their commitments to ensure their future data center developments are in the right location, with the right infrastructure, and the right incentives to make it accessible.”

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