Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC)
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The County, like many other localities and the state itself, sees tremendous potential benefit in technology development due to the creation of jobs, significant revenues, and comparatively low impacts.
Diversification of the tax base is vital to a community – and business revenue like this represents the ability to make enhancements to core public services without necessarily increasing the number of people in need of those services. This also represents career opportunities and workforce development.
Assuming an $11B investment, annual new county revenues could exceed $25M annually.
Core public services like schools, public safety, and infrastructure enhancements. We’ll be looking for opportunities to gather public input on the priorities of potential projects.
Minimum of 200 feet from the adjoining residentially zoned property line. It should be noted the TOD avoids areas of dense residential development and the houses on the adjacent property may themselves be located a distance away from the property line.
Two campuses: Lake Anna Technology Campus (formerly known as REB Investments) and North Creek Technology Campus (formerly known as JCM). The below image shows the TOD parcels in pink, and the Lake Anna Technology Campus and North Creek Technology Campus are represented by the enlarged pink areas.
You may also use the TOD layer of our GIS mapping tool for an interactive look.
The Technology Overlay District (TOD) standards are the most restrictive development standards in the County, and includes several areas in the County which have sizeable acreage, proximity to kV lines and adequate road networks for technology businesses. By right uses are tightly controlled with significant buffering, noise limitations and other requirements.
Louisa County follows the guidance of the Comprehensive Plan, which includes a goal to preserve Louisa’s rural character. That goal is reflected in our standard approach to evaluating project impacts.
A conditional use permit or rezoning requires two public hearings (other localities are approaching these projects with rezoning). The establishment of the TOD also had two public hearings to allow for citizen input. The Performance Agreement with Amazon will also have three separate public considerations by the Board – providing citizens with a total of five opportunities for public input.
The Technology Overlay District (TOD) standards are the most restrictive development standards in the County. Noise has been a primary concern at other sites, and the centers here will leverage a quieter water-cooling method. The strict development standards of the TOD will ensure more space between the centers and residential areas, and will allow us to retain our rural character.
The Technology Overlay District (TOD) standards are the most restrictive development standards in the County. It was created to protect the rural character of the community, as our other approaches like concentrated development in growth areas also work to protect our rural character. We understand the rural character of the County is important to the citizens, and we invite them to review our Comprehensive Plan to learn more about what guides the Board in its decisions.
The use of the TOD process enabled the County to implement development controls that addressed public concerns while preserving the ability to compete quickly and effectively with other localities in the state. The resulting zoning districts include significant buffers, noise limits, and related controls which are more restrictive overall than traditional processes using conditional use permits.
The Technology Overlay District (TOD) standards are the most restrictive development standards in the County. It addresses allowable decibel levels and requires substantial buffer and setbacks to mitigate noise issues. Data centers in other areas are sometimes located very close to residential areas, but the strict standards of the TOD will provide distance to allow the sound to dissipate. The data centers locating here will also leverage water-cooling technology which is a quieter alternative to air-cooling technology.
Parcels were considered for the TOD which had ample capacity on the surrounding transportation network. Based on these capacities, traffic impacts should be minimal. However, we're still planning to collaborate with the Amazon to minimize traffic disruptions when construction begins. Our priority is to integrate the project thoughtfully into the existing infrastructure and reduce construction congestion.
When identifying areas for the TOD, roads were a major consideration. For example, one nearby road is currently only at 13% of its capacity during its peak hours. Though the roads have capacity to handle more cars, we are working with Amazon to divert construction traffic to minimize the impact.
This will vary based on the number of units built, but several hundred are likely.
Construction activity may start as soon as 2024.
All new development projects in the county must adhere to permitting regulations at the local, state, and federal level that address impacts of development projects prior to, during, and after construction.
We will work with AWS to reduce construction impacts.
Projected build-out is 15 years. Market demand for data storage will determine how fast the campuses are developed.
That will be an Amazon decision. Local businesses are encouraged to monitor bid solicitations related to this project that align with services they offer.
Water cooled (Raw/untreated water)
New infrastructure will be developed to support both campuses including a raw water pumping station and water lines, potable water lines to the North Creek Technology Campus (NCTC), and municipal sewer line to the NCTC. AWS will pay for all water/sewer infrastructure serving both campuses.
Northeast Creek Reservoir (NCR) is the raw water source. NCR has a safe yield of 3.2 million gallons per day. At full build-out, AWS’ average daily raw water demand is 620,000 gallons. AWS’ daily water demand combined with current and future potable water projections of 1 million gallons per day provide an excess safe yield capacity of 1.5 million gallons per day.
1 cubic acre inch of NCR surface water = 5.1 million gallons of water
1 cubic acre foot of NCR surface water = 62 million gallons of water
This method will not utilize groundwater, so it does not contribute to any increased demand for groundwater.
Preliminary discussions between the County and Amazon (and with the state) started in 2022. The County took steps to strengthen its marketing position while balancing public input and necessary zoning efforts in order to efficiently position ourselves for the project or similar opportunities.
AWS has expressed interest in collaborating with LCPS to establish CTE course curriculum focused on operations and maintenance of data center facilities.
AWS is paying for all infrastructure that will serve both campuses.
Improvements to power grid are expected over the course of the project’s development. The power utilities and/or AWS will be responsible for the upgrades and associated costs.
No funds from the County’s current revenues will be used. The county will rebate a portion of the new tax revenues paid by AWS. The rebate percentage is fixed based on the amount of AWS’ capital investment in the county. Final rebate details or "grants" will be considered as an amendment to the Performance Agreement.
The governor announced earlier this year that Amazon is contemplating major investments in multiple localities. A statewide grant fund of $140M will be allocated proportionally based on the investment amounts in each, and the state has also waived associated sales and use taxes. Pending the Board’s adoption of an amended performance agreement, local rebates would be calculated as a sliding proportion of new local revenues based on investment levels.
A new public road may be constructed on the NCTC to provide access to multiple development phases of this campus and to mitigate the need for multiple construction entrances from adjoining public roads.
As we understand it, graves may be on a parcel which is adjacent to the project and the applicant is going through the normal processes with the state’s Department of Historic Resources to mitigate disruptions. The County doesn’t have a formal role in the effort, but as always, we support a careful consideration of resources.