Dominion Energy is receiving requests to power larger data center campuses that require total capacity ranging from 300 megawatts to as many as “several gigawatts,” CEO Bob Blue said during the utility’s first-quarter earnings call this week. 

The statement is another reflection of the significant load growth in Dominion’s territory that has accelerated in recent years, largely driven by data centers and their AI computing needs.

Dominion has connected 94 data centers totaling over four GW of capacity over the last approximately five years, Blue told investors. The utility’s territory includes Northern Virginia, which is the largest and most dynamic data center market in the world.

Blue said the utility expects to connect an additional 15 data centers in 2024.

Dominion has not only seen a larger number of data center customer requests in recent years, but the size of each facility request (in terms of MW) has grown larger. Blue said historically, a single data center had a demand of 30 MW or more. More recent requests indicate a demand of 60-90 MW, or greater. Now, he said data center campuses with multiple buildings could require several gigawatts.

Blue told investors each facility’s ramp schedule to reach full capacity has also accelerated.

In the U.S. alone, data center demand is expected to reach 35 GW by 2030, up from 17 GW in 2022, McKinsey & Company projects. Grid operators and utilities are projecting significant load growth driven by electrification, new manufacturing and data center development. This is especially true throughout the PJM Interconnection. Dominion Energy’s service territory is located within the PJM footprint.

According to the company’s annual report filed with regulators earlier this year, data centers represented 24% and 21% of Dominion’s electricity sales in 2023 and 2022, respectively.

“The concentration of data centers primarily in Loudoun County, Virginia represents a unique challenge and requires significant investments in electric transmission facilities to meet the growing demand,” the company said in that SEC filing.

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