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AI’s explosive growth has big land and energy problems. Here’s how to fix them

AI data centers need a sustainable solution to their massive energy and real estate demands. One promising solution is already here.

Jan 23, 2024

AI is rapidly advancing towards a projected $1.3 trillion market by 2032. As it does, the demand for energy-intensive data centers is spiking, with AI data centers potentially requiring as much electricity as an entire country. That’s a big problem.

Take Mesa, Arizona, for example. Its access to resources like infrastructure and fiber optics have made it a hotbed of AI data center development for companies like Google, Meta and Amazon in recent years—so much so that city leaders are now attempting to stem the tide of new projects looking to break ground in and around the city.

A similar story is playing out across the country in northern Virginia. The 1,300 sq. mile tract of land is already home to 102 Amazon data centers. Now, Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager, wants to construct even more as part of its $7 billion investment in data center development. 

It’s clear that AI data centers need a sustainable solution to their energy and real estate demands asap. Thankfully, one promising solution is already here.

Direct clean power service: a promising solution for the age of AI

Direct clean power service, which powers each Aston Clean Energy Campus, is carbon-free energy that’s created and immediately put to use on-site. Think of a solar farm that, instead of sending its electricity to the grid, instead uses it directly to help power an on-site data center. 

You can learn more about direct clean power service here.

For AI data center developers, this maximally efficient use of land and energy is the proverbial holy grail. Not only does it allow for abundant clean energy supply for energy-intensive data centers, but it significantly increases the land available for construction since industrial sites can operate with or without connection to the larger power grid.

“The Aston Clean Energy Campus is designed to accommodate the growing need for AI data centers,” said Aston co-founder and CEO Greg Robinson

“Each campus is designed with a mix of on-site wind, solar, geothermal, and more to deliver a specific amount of carbon-free electricity to on-site users. AI data centers are the ideal anchor tenant for a campus because they use massive amounts of power in a predictable way. They create a solid base of infrastructure to which we can add other types of demand like cold storage, dry warehouses, and EV charging for a perfect balance of on-site supply and demand.”

Learn more

The need for a viable, near-term solution to the energy and real estate demands of AI will only continue to increase in importance. 

Visit the Aston website to learn more about direct clean power service and the Aston Clean Energy Campus. You can also join the conversation by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter/X or subscribing to the Aston newsletter.