Maryland Clears the way for Data Center Developments with Landmark Legislation
Maryland Clears the way for Data Center Developments with Landmark Legislation

In a major win for the data center industry, Governor Wes Moore of Maryland has signed the Critical Infrastructure Streamlining Act of 2024 (CISA), providing a clear legislative framework for the use of emergency backup power generation. This bipartisan bill was passed unanimously

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by both the House and Senate, demonstrating Maryland’s strong commitment to welcoming the data center sector and fostering continuous innovation.

CISA Removes Barriers to Entry

The new law removes a key barrier that has historically hindered data center projects in the state, paving the way for significant growth in this critical industry. Not only will the CISA benefit data centers, but it will also support other vital sectors like healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, and education that rely on reliable backup power.

Quantum Loophole, the developer of the first multi-gigawatt scale, master-planned data center community in Maryland had this to say; “We applaud and thank Governor Moore and the Maryland Legislature for their foresight and efforts to streamline and clarify the use of back-up generators, not just for data centers, but for other industries as well,” comments Rich Paul-Hus, SVP of Public Affairs at Quantum Loophole. “Within just 20-miles of the Internet ecosystem located in Northern Virginia, Quantum Loophole in Frederick, Maryland now has a fast-track path forward to welcoming data centers.”

International Data Center Authority Applauds the Effort

Data Center POST reached out for comment about what this means for Maryland and the Data Center industry and Meghdi Paryavi, Chairman and CEO of the International Data Center Authority remarked:

“In our era data centers are the engine that drives digital economies and the thought of having a State without credible data storage and processing centers is an obsolete notion. Therefore, it’s great to see a State like Maryland realize the power of having data center ecosystems benefit its residents, funding programs and education that will serve everyone for years to come. This is a win-win for industry and the community in Maryland. People and organizations from all walks of life, utilizing healthcare and financial services to education, entertainment, transportation, energy, and all the applications they use, are dependent on the availability and capability of data centers nearest to them for delivering the very services they require for their livelihood.

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Having Eco-friendly data centers local to you only reduces the carbon footprint as well as other resources that need to be vested in processing the same workloads from a distant location. Thus, we have to understand that by pushing data centers away from our communities we are not really solving the problem. We are merely making what we foresee as “the problem” onto someone else’s lap. What we should, instead, insist on is building the right types of data centers that are application-centric, do not waste resources, use efficient and green materials, and serve our communities through not only investing in carbon reduction and buying carbon credits but also boosting the economy, creating jobs, encouraging small businesses and service providers that need to live and grow around data center communities as well as enhancing service availability, speed and quality of our applications. These data centers not only generate less carbon than most traditional industries, they also reduce emissions by extracting carbon through their forestation and other environmental initiatives, and help in building socio-economic growth and sustainability that has never been witnessed before.

The demand for data centers will continue to increase as our dependency on everything digital continues to grow. Whether we are required to push the envelope of digitization at such rapid speed, is a different topic. But for as long as our demand for data and applications is on the rise, our need for data centers will continue to rise in parallel. Here, the only two parameters that are important are a) local data centers are better than remote data centers due to latency and transport cost of data and edge-compute requirements which ultimately contribute to carbon reduction as opposed to their alternative, and b) building the right kind of future-proof data centers that are both technologically advanced, environmentally friendly and economically loyal to the community that welcomed them with open arms.”

What’s Next for Maryland? 

With the CISA in place, Quantum Loophole can now more confidently build out its master-planned data center community, which features ample land, power, connectivity and water to sustain gigawatt scale data center developments.

Buddy Rizer, Executive Director for Economic Development in Loudoun County, Virginia – a community within 20-miles of Frederick, Maryland commented, “I’ve personally seen the transformative impact that data centers can have on a community, enhancing both economic diversity and resilience. It’s thrilling to witness the burgeoning digital infrastructure in communities across the mid-Atlantic region. With Quantum Loophole’s conscientious approach to development, Frederick County and Maryland stand to reap immense benefits.”

According to Quantum Loophole and various reports about the economic developments of the projects, it has the potential to not only create new jobs and transform the local economy, but also position Maryland as a premier destination for the digital infrastructure of the future. The passage of the Critical Infrastructure Streamlining Act is a clear signal that Maryland is open for business and ready to welcome the data center industry with open arms.

For more information, visit: www.quantumloophole.com.