Community Update/Press FAQs
- Why is the County so interested in technological development?
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.
- What's the benefit of the AWS campuses to the community?
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.
- How much revenue will the AWS campuses be annually for the county?
Assuming an $11B investment, annual new county revenues could exceed $25M annually.
- What will the AWS data center tax revenue be used for?
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.
- How far will the data center locations be from residential properties?
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.
- Where are the AWS campuses going to be located?
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.
- What is the definition of the TOD?
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.
- Was public input considered in the development of the TOD?
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.
- How will this be different from the Northern Virginia data centers?
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.
- Will the AWS campuses change the rural character of the county?
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.
- Why did the County utilize the TOD instead of a typical conditional use permitting/rezoning process?
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.
- I read about all the noise pollution associated with data centers. How are we going to handle that?
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.
- How will the AWS campuses impact traffic?
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.
- How many employees are associated with the AWS campuses?
This will vary based on the number of units built, but several hundred are likely.
- When is construction going to start?
Construction activity may start as soon as 2024.
- How will you mitigate impacts during construction?
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.
- How long is the build out for the AWS campuses?
Projected build-out is 15 years. Market demand for data storage will determine how fast the campuses are developed.
- Will AWS hire local businesses to do the work?
That will be an Amazon decision. Local businesses are encouraged to monitor bid solicitations related to this project that align with services they offer.
- What is the cooling platform for the data centers?
Water cooled (Raw/untreated water)
- What are the specifics about the infrastructure for the AWS campuses?
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.
- Where is the raw water for the data centers coming from?
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.
- When did discussions with Amazon begin?
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.
- Will there be articulation with the school's CTE program? Cyber security?
AWS has expressed interest in collaborating with LCPS to establish CTE course curriculum focused on operations and maintenance of data center facilities.
- How much is the county contributing to the cost of infrastructure related to the AWS campuses?
AWS is paying for all infrastructure that will serve both campuses.
- Will there be improvements to the grid related to the AWS 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.
- How much taxpayer funding is going to the payments to Amazon?
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.
- What's the breakdown of state vs local rebates?
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.
- Are any new roads being contemplated for the AWS campuses?
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.
- Who will provide the electrical service for the AWS campuses?
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC)
- Is there historical significance related to the Lake Anna Technology Campus site?
As we understand it, graves may be on the adjacent property 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.