Torch Clean Energy, a renewable energy company based in Boulder, Colorado, has filed plans with Chesterfield County to develop a hyper-scale data center and solar farm on a 1,675 acre site in Chesterfield, Virginia.
According to the site map which includes the plans, there are potential locations for up to four data centers, with a total building footprint of about 1 million square feet. On the hand is the solar farm which would generate 150MW of power for adjoining data center or centers.
This is coming one year after local opposition stopped the previously pitched “Matoaca Mega Site”. Tagged “Chester Solar Technology Park,” the new project is set to represent about $2 billion investment in the site.
“We think that [this project] makes the Richmond area, and Chesterfield County in particular, an incredibly attractive location for what has largely been an industry that has focused its investment in Northern Virginia and Prince William (County) specifically. This is impossible to do up there, and we think this will appeal to large data center customers,”
Jon Kilberg, President of Torch Clean Energy.
According to the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority, this project is envisioned to attract advanced manufacturers that would invest more than $1 billion in the local economy and create up to 4,000 direct jobs.
“We see it as a very high-value opportunity with very minimal impacts. Data centers are the most tax-dense properties we can build. The solar farm is a unique opportunity, to have green power next to a data center, but it’s the data center that Economic Development is really
Garrett Hart Chesterfield Economic Development Director.
“The proposal of data centers on that property could give us the $2.5 billion that we were looking for when we were looking for other megasite opportunities. It gives us the tax base we were looking for. Not necessarily the number of jobs, but that might be a better fit.”
The County Economic Development Authority is currently not involved in the project, and has not proposed any funding or incentives. Torch on the other hand, said the company is in talks with multiple data center developers and potential end users, whose names were not disclosed.
Although, this project is the first of its kind to be handled by Torch, the company however, has a total of 1,000MW of wind and solar power projects under development in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Michigan, Hawaii, West Virginia and Virginia.