The commercial real estate outlet Bisnow quoted McGuireWoods partner Gregory Riegle in a Aug. 15, 2021, story about how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could affect where and how data centers are built.
The package passed by the U.S. Senate directs $130 billion to digital and energy infrastructure programs, creating more opportunities for data center development.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the impacts on the industry are potentially significant,” said Riegle, a real estate partner in Tysons, Virginia, and leader of McGuireWoods’ cross-practice data centers team. “The industry as a whole has always pushed resiliency, stability and, increasingly, sustainability in the industry and the networks that support it, whether power or fiber, so I think the objectives of the legislation are well aligned.”
Funding for renewable energy and improvements for power grids may be a bigger driver of data center development than broadband expansion, Riegle added.
“The perspective I’m hearing from my clients is that it’s not just the direct investment in broadband, it’s the larger investment in the power grid,” Riegle said. “From an industry perspective, a strong, resilient grid is foundational, so this part of the bill is enormously important to the industry.”