MIRA invests in US data centre business Aligned Energy

The firm made the commitment through Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV, which is targeting $3.5 billion.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets has staked a claim in the quickly growing US data centre sector with an investment in developer Aligned Energy.

MIRA joins alternatives investor BlueMountain Capital Management as partial owners of Aligned Energy, a US-based infrastructure technology company that builds and operates data centres. The company operates two facilities, in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, and recently announced it will commission a third in Salt Lake City, Utah later this year.

MIRA made the investment through its fund Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV, which is currently being raised and is targeting $3.5 billion, but the firm did not disclose how much it committed to Aligned Energy or what size stake it now holds. The fund manager did not respond to a request for comment.

MIRA has made several investments in communications infrastructure assets, including in the US company InSite Wireless and Arqiva in the UK, but Aligned Energy is the first in the data centre sector, according to the firm’s portfolio.

Karl Kuchel, chief executive of MIP, said in a statement the investment will help Aligned Energy “substantially accelerate its growth plans” in the US market, where demand for data centres is high, and move into new markets.

Andrew Schaap, Aligned Energy’s chief executive, echoed the sentiment in a statement: “With MIP’s support we are well positioned to meaningfully expand in our existing markets and are also evaluating entry into new markets.” He added: “Aligned’s value proposition uniquely positions us to benefit from the massive growth we will continue to see in this industry, driven by cloud, the internet of things and big data.”

Aligned Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

The data centre sector, and in the US in particular, is growing at a fast pace due to the rapid expansion of cloud-managed services, which a report from JLL said is predicted to grow from $35.5 billion in 2016 to $76.7 billion in 2021.

Aligned Energy’s two data centres in Phoenix and Dallas require 230MW to cool the facilities due to their huge data storage capacity. The Salt Lake City facility will have 50MW of capacity spanning 300,000 square feet and with 15,000 square feet of rentable office space, the company said.