Vantage Lines Up $300 Million Green Loan to Expand in Ashburn

Solar panels and windmills line the roads and parking areas at the Vantage Data Centers campus in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo: Vantage Data Centers)

Vantage Data Centers has closed on a $300 million “green loan” from Societe Generale to support the construction of a new data center on its campus in Northern Virginia.

The 365,000 square foot VA13 data center is currently under development and scheduled to be operational in fall of 2022. It will be the third data center on Vantage’s 42-acre campus in “Data Center Alley” in Ashburn, which will total more than 1 million square feet across five facilities once fully developed.

The loan was arranged by Societe Generale, and structured as a green loan, in which a project is designated for sustainable purposes. The Vantage campus in Ashburn campus features a number of sustainability features, including outdoor lighting powered by on-board solar panels and wind turbines, a solar array on the front lawn, and charging stations for electric vehicles. The building’s cooling system features air-cooled chillers using minimal water.

In order to qualify for a green loan, recipients must generally meet specific criteria for their sustainability measures such as water conservation and carbon emissions reduction, as well as achieving a low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

“Vantage is committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and this loan gets us even closer to actualizing our goal,” explained Amanda Sutton, senior director of sustainability, Vantage Data Centers. “Vantage’s dedication to sustainable operations made us an ideal candidate for this loan, and it’s just one more step in our journey to positively impact climate change.”

“Not only does this green loan expedite our pursuit of sustainable solutions for data centers, but it adds to the diversity of Vantage’s funding vehicles, enabling us to move quickly alongside customer demand,” said Sharif Metwalli, chief financial officer at Vantage Data Centers. “Partnering with hyperscalers often entails rapid development, which can bring a substantial impact on the environment. But with this loan, we have the flexibility to prioritize speed without sacrificing sustainability. Given its many benefits, we anticipate leveraging green financing for future developments as we continue expanding our footprint globally.”

Sustainable Campus Features

This is Vantage’s second successful execution of a green loan. The company lined up a $68 million green loan as part of a larger financing from Societe Generale to fund the development of a third 32MW facility on its Quebec City campus.

“As the capital markets shift to green financing, we are thrilled to partner with Vantage to support their ongoing data center developments,” said Valtin Gallani, director at Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking. “With this financing, Vantage is likely the first data center operator in North America to issue a Project Specific Green Loan that is based on the Use of Proceeds, and we’re very excited to be part of Vantage’s next chapter of growth.”

The outdoor lighting at the Vantage Ashburn campus is mounted on poles that are each equipped with a rotary windmill on top a small solar panel, illuminating the parking area and building exterior with clean power. The light poles provide nearly 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year of renewable energy.

A multi-tier “solar tree” array of photovoltaic panels at the VA11 data center provides 4,788 kilowatt hours of clean power annually for office areas, and the front parking area includes multiple charging stations for electric vehicles, with a choice between solar or utility power .

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Vantage Keeps Building

Rapid global growth has been the theme for Vantage since 2017, when the company was acquired by DigitalBridge, which was seeking a platform to target the wholesale data center market to complement DataBank, its portfolio company for colocation and edge computing.

Since becoming part of DigitalBridge, Vantage has been boosted by billions of dollars in investment, enabling it to both build and buy data centers.

  • In 2017, Vantage launched a $1 billion expansion into Northern Virginia, the world’s largest cloud computing market, with a campus in Ashburn.
  • In 2018, acquired 4Degrees Colocation and two data centers in the growing cloud hub in Quebec, Canada.
  • In 2019, the company announced plans for a 1 million square foot campus in Goodyear, Arizona to enter the Phoenix market. That campus is currently under construction.
  • In early 2020, Vantage entered the European market with $2 billion in acquisitions, buying Etix Everywhere and its Frankfurt campus along with land parcels in Berlin, Milan, Zurich and Warsaw.
  • In April 2020 it extended its European expansion, buying Next Generation Data and its massive facility in Cardiff, Wales.
  • Last November Vantage acquired Hypertec, adding three data centers to expand its footprint in Montreal.
  • In September Vantage expanded into the Asia-Pacific market, acquiring assets from Agile Data Centers and PCCW. The deal included $1.5 billion in fresh equity investment from Vantage’s financial backers.

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