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A recent development in Virginia could significantly impact the way data centers operate and the decisions made there. Delegate Rip Sullivan of Fairfax County, recently proposed a new bill, HB 116, in the Virginia House of Delegates.

The new bill aims to significantly impact an reshape the state’s data center industry by introducing stricter energy efficiency standards.

Key Provisions of HB 116

PUE Threshold for Tax Breaks:
Data center operators seeking sales and use tax exemptions on data center purchases must achieve a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) score of 1.2 or lower. This aligns with the industry’s best practices and incentivizes efficient operations.

Top 15% Benchmark for Mixed-Use Facilities:
Data centers within buildings with mixed commercial uses (over 20% non-data center space) must achieve an energy efficiency level ranking within the top 15% of similar buildings built in the past five years. This ensures comparable efficiency even in non-dedicated data center structures.

Renewable Energy Mandate:
By 2027, data centers must source 90% of their electricity from carbon-free renewable sources or through associated renewable energy certificates. This ambitious goal promotes sustainability and aligns with Virginia’s clean energy aspirations.

Diesel Ban for Backup Power:
The bill prohibits qualifying data centers from using diesel fuel for on-site backup power generation. This encourages adoption of cleaner alternatives like hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) or fuel cells.

Implications for Data Center Owners and Operators

Compliance Requirements:
DIAL recommends a proactive approach to assess current PUE scores and identify potential efficiency improvements to meet the 1.2 threshold. Additionally, mixed-use data centers should evaluate their energy performance against the top 15% benchmark.

Renewable Energy Procurement:
Develop strategies to procure carbon-free renewable energy or invest in renewable energy certificates to comply with the 2027 mandate. Explore options like power purchase agreements (PPAs) or on-site renewable generation.

Backup Power Alternatives:
If currently using diesel for backup power, consider transitioning to HVO or alternative technologies like fuel cells before the ban takes effect. Evaluate cost-effectiveness and feasibility of each option.

Stay Informed, Stay Proactive:

DIAL is committed to keeping our clients informed about evolving regulations and trends. This new bill signifies Virginia’s commitment to a greener data center industry, and early preparation will be key for Data Center Owners and Operators to adapt and thrive in this changing landscape. We encourage you to reach out to your DIAL representative to discuss your specific situation and develop a tailored compliance plan.

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Digital Infrastructure Advisors Ltd (DIAL), a leading provider of specialist data center advisory services, and part of the Keysource Group is pleased to announce its involvement in Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Management’s acquisition of a majority stake in UltraEdge, a prominent data center company.

DIAL played a key role in the transaction, providing comprehensive data center commercial, technical, development, and operational due diligence advisory services to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. The firm’s expertise helped Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners make an informed decision about the acquisition, ensuring that it aligned with their investment strategy and objectives.

UltraEdge, the newly established data center company, will manage a portfolio of 257 interconnected data centers, leveraging Altice’s mobile operator subsidiary SFR’s expansive fiber network. This strategic move involves the demerger of SFR’s data center operations, subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions.

The transaction, valuing UltraEdge at €764 million, marks a significant step in establishing the first nationwide independent distributed data center operator in France. UltraEdge’s offerings will include essential data storage and connectivity services, boasting an installed capacity of over 45MW and 33,047 square meters of owned office space, interconnected via SFR’s nationwide fiber network.

Stephen Lorimer, Director at DIAL, said, “We are delighted to have been part of this landmark transaction. Our team’s deep understanding of the data center industry and our ability to provide independent, objective advice were instrumental in the success of the deal.” He added “UltraEdge is a strategically important asset in the French data center market, and we are confident that Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners will be able to capitalize on its full potential. We look forward to continuing to support them in their future endeavours.”

The acquisition of UltraEdge marks a significant step forward for Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners data center investment strategy. The company plans to leverage UltraEdge’s strong portfolio of data centers and its strategic partnership with Altice France to expand its presence in the French market.

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In an era marked by digital transformation and increasing reliance on data centers, energy efficiency has emerged as a critical concern. As a leading provider in the digital infrastructure industry, Digital Infrastructure Advisors Ltd (DIAL) recognizes the importance of keeping everyone in the United States informed about the latest regulations and requirements that impact the data center industry. We’re going to delve into the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and its implications for data centers. We will discuss what the EED means, how it affects operators and investors in the US, and what actionable steps you need to action to comply with these requirements.

What is the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)?

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is a legislative framework established by the European Union (EU) with the objective of promoting energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While the EED specifically applies to EU member states, its principles have influenced energy efficiency standards globally, including in the United States.

How does the EED affect operators in the US?

Although the EED is not directly applicable to the United States, its emphasis on energy efficiency has influenced best practices and regulatory efforts within the country. This has several implications for data center operators in the US, including:

Regulatory landscape: While the US does not have a direct equivalent to the EED, various federal and state regulations exist that encourage energy efficiency in data centers. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations can help data center operators in the US stay compliant and avoid potential penalties.

Operational efficiency: Implementing energy-efficient practices in data centers can significantly reduce operational costs by minimizing energy consumption. By adopting energy-efficient technologies and practices, data center operators can optimize their operations and drive cost savings.

Sustainability initiatives: There is a growing emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility within the United States. Adhering to energy efficiency requirements aligns with these sustainability goals and can enhance a data center’s reputation as an environmentally conscious organization.

What actions should you take today?

To ensure energy efficiency and align with best practices in the US data center industry, operators can take the following actions:

Stay informed about regulations: Keep abreast of federal and state regulations related to energy efficiency in data centers. Familiarize yourself with requirements, such as those outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or local utility incentives, and ensure compliance.

Implement energy-efficient technologies: Explore the latest advancements in data center technologies that promote energy efficiency. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient servers, cooling systems, power management tools, and intelligent monitoring systems that can help optimize energy usage.

Optimize airflow and cooling: Proper airflow management and cooling techniques are crucial for reducing energy consumption. Ensure equipment is arranged for optimal airflow, consider hot and cold aisle containment strategies, and implement efficient cooling methods like free cooling and liquid cooling where applicable.

Virtualization and consolidation: Virtualization allows for better resource utilization and consolidation of servers, reducing overall energy demand. Evaluate your data center’s virtualization potential and adopt strategies to maximize efficiency and minimize energy consumption.

Regular monitoring and maintenance: Establish a monitoring system to track energy usage and identify anomalies or areas for improvement. Implement proactive maintenance practices to ensure continuous equipment and system efficiency.

Collaborate and share knowledge: Engage with industry organizations, attend conferences, and join communities focused on energy efficiency in data centers. Collaborate with experts and share knowledge within the industry to drive collective progress toward sustainability goals.

Take Action and Partner with DIAL for Energy Efficiency in Your Data Center

For data center operators in the United States, it is crucial to prioritize energy efficiency to reduce costs, improve sustainability, and meet regulatory requirements. By staying informed about relevant regulations, implementing energy-efficient technologies, optimizing cooling strategies, and collaborating within the industry, you can make significant strides towards a greener and more efficient data center.

At Digital Infrastructure Advisors Ltd (DIAL), we understand the complexities of the data center industry and can provide you with tailored solutions to enhance energy efficiency in your operations. Our experts can assist you in conducting energy audits, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing cutting-edge technologies to optimize energy usage.

Don’t navigate the path to energy efficiency alone. Get in touch with DIAL today to discuss how we can support your data center’s compliance with energy efficiency regulations, drive operational efficiency, and contribute to a more sustainable future. Together, we can achieve a greener, more cost-effective, and environmentally responsible data center industry.

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