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International leaders to detail how Henrico, Virginia, is investing in vast renewable energy supplies to benefit global data center industry

HENRICO, VIRGINIA, OCTOBER 28, 2020 - On November 17 at 2 p.m. (EST), the Henrico Economic Development Authority will host the webinar “Building a Sustainable Future.” The discussion will provide insight on the key drivers of global sustainability, as well as showcase how Henrico, Virginia, is exceptionally positioned to connect businesses with the clean energy sources necessary to exceed emerging data center demand. Dominion Energy and InterGlobix will join, as well as Facebook, QTS, and Flexential, which have data centers in Henrico.

“We’re beyond the era of good intentions for sustainability; it is now a business imperative in the global economy,” said Anthony Romanello, Executive Director of the Henrico Economic Development Authority. “As data center power needs surge, consumer expectations on environmental responsibility are simultaneously increasing. Your customers want proof that you’re doing your part to protect the planet. In Henrico, these are not just promises.

“Since 2003, our energy management program has been launching conservation projects, upgrading equipment, and last year began generating its own power with two large rooftop solar panel projects. Henrico, with its strategic location in the center of America’s Eastern Seaboard and extraordinary access to renewable energy, is uniquely positioning itself to help businesses deliver on their much-needed commitments to sustainability.”

Romanello points to two recent surveys:

  • IDC is forecasting that global data will grow to 163 zettabytes by 2025 – the equivalent of watching the entirety of Netflix’s catalog 489 million times.
  • A 451 Research report revealed that out of 800 data center operator respondents surveyed, 97% said they have customer requests for a commitment to sustainability.

Facebook will speak to the sustainability advantages of being located in Henrico. The company’s local data center is now powered by 100% solar energy, an achievement facilitated by a partnership with Dominion Energy. The American power and energy company is further helping Henrico businesses tap into clean, renewable energy with its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind farm – a 12-megawatt offshore wind pilot project and the largest of its kind in North America. And this July, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam launched Clean Energy Virginia, an initiative designed with a goal of powering 100% of Virginia’s electricity from carbon-free sources.

“By 2025, IDC is predicting that people will have on average 5,000 digital interactions per day in an era when data centers are already some of the biggest consumers of power,” said Vinay Nagpal, a data center leader who also serves as President of InterGlobix. “There is no time to waste. Not investing in environmental stewardship is an act of self-sabotage. Data centers must acquire and implement clean energy into their infrastructure if they value their consumers, their planet, and their success."

If you’re interested in attending “Building a Sustainable Future,” the second installment in the Henrico Internet Infrastructure webinar series, then reserve your spot now. Registration is free, but space is limited.

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