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Upgrading utility transmission infrastructure key to unlocking data centers’ potential
Research - MAY 26, 2023

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Upgrading utility transmission infrastructure key to unlocking data centers’ potential

by Kali Persall

The current state of utility transmission infrastructure is impeding U.S. data centers’ transition to renewable energy, according to a recent report from CBRE.

In order for the data center sector to achieve its sustainability targets, it will need to overcome a slew of obstacles, such as outdated power lines, delays in planning and permitting for new transmission and distribution projects, and supply-chain bottlenecks. Some of the problems lie with the time-consuming regulatory hurdles associated with upgrading existing transmission lines, which can take as long as three years, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This also can incur multimillion-dollar costs.

Several regional data center markets across the United States are working to solve these transmission and distribution issues — notably Northern Virginia, the nation’s largest data center market; Dallas–Fort Worth, a top location for data center development; Silicon Valley, the nation

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