Aligned Data Centers, based in Texas, is a technology infrastructure company providing sustainable data solutions.
The vast amount of digital data we use daily requires a lot of energy to power all the routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and other components that make up a typical data center. The global data center industry accounts for around 4% of the world’s electricity consumption and 1% of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to Engie, a French multinational utility company.
Those numbers will only rise due to rapid growth in the IT sector, prompting major digital operators to implement ambitious plans to move toward carbon neutrality. This, in turn, has led to the development of green data centers that aim to operate more sustainably.
One of the leaders in the field is Aligned Data Centers, a Texas-based technology infrastructure company formerly known as Aligned Energy.
Aligned builds custom data centers for individual corporate clients and colocation facilities used by multiple clients. Its warehouse-sized data centers are scattered across the United States, located in Chicago, Dallas, Maryland, Northern Virginia, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.
Companies depend on data centers to support internet traffic and run technology services ranging from websites and software applications to email. Most have a considerable environmental impact – not just because of the energy needed to power the centers. Many also require vast amounts of water to cool the equipment and prevent it from being damaged.
Aligned, founded in 2013, aims to address these challenges through innovative designs, construction, and technology. The company has developed a proprietary cooling system, Delta, that doesn’t rely on water to cool equipment. Instead, Delta arrays capture and remove heat at its source rather than pushing cold air into the data hall.
Regarding design, Aligned focuses on deploying its mechanical and electrical systems in small increments and only when additional capacity is needed. This is a more sustainable method because the company is not deploying or stranding unutilized equipment, leading to fewer resources and a smaller carbon footprint.
Aligned has committed to matching 100% of its annual energy consumption to zero-carbon renewable energy by 2024 and tracking its carbon emissions every day of the year.
The company also has adopted a green finance model that includes being the first U.S. data center to secure sustainability-linked financing. That happened in 2020 when Aligned secured a $1 billion credit facility.
A year later, after exceeding all the initial sustainability-linked credit facility requirements, the company’s financing increased to $1.25 billion, funded by TD Securities USA LLC, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, and Deutsche Bank AG. The money was used to fund expansion, including a new data center in Salt Lake City.
CEO Andrew Schaap told The Wall Street Journal at the time that his company was in “massive growth mode,” having signed deals with undisclosed Fortune 500 companies in sectors such as cloud, software, social media, transportation, and financial services.
Aligned’s rapid growth continued into 2022. In May, the company increased its sustainability-linked loan to $1.75 billion to accelerate its next phase of growth and expansion, with financing from TD Securities, Wells Fargo Securities, and Citizens Bank.
“Green financing is an embedded element of Aligned’s industry-leading commitment to data center sustainability and environmental stewardship, and further supports our ability to innovate disruptively in pursuit of a climate-secure industry and world,” Chief Financial Officer Anubhav Raj said in a statement.
Four months later, in September 2022, Aligned announced an expansion to its flagship hyper-scale campus in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area. When completed, the facility will span 220,000 square feet and offer 36 megawatts of critical capacity across 185,000 square feet of data hall space.