Data center operator Switch will partner with Capital Dynamics to invest $ 1.3 billion in a sustainable power generation and storage facility powerful enough to power data centers. The project involves the use of First Solar solar panels and Tesla MegaPack battery packs.
There is nothing unusual in this combination, but the total capacity of the entire project, which is called Gigawatt 1, is impressive: solar power plants with 555 MW and 800 MWh of battery capacity. Complexes of panels and batteries will be located in several locations in Nevada, and one of them will be located next to the Reno Business Park, which houses the largest, according to Switch, in the world Citadel data center and Tesla Gigafactory.
Citadel campus has 690 thousand m2 for placing equipment with a total capacity of up to 650 MW. The first stage of the TAHOE RENO 1 data center is a bit more modest: 121 690 thousand m2 and 130 MW. It will receive a 127 MW solar power plant and a Tesla MegaPack with a capacity of 240 MWh, which, by the way, will be isolated from the public power grid and power only the Switch, which required a separate permit. The company promises to keep the price at 5 cents per kWh.
However, the company’s data centers have been 100% supplied with electricity from renewable sources for several years. Often these are hydroelectric power plants, but hyperscalers choose them not at all because of environmental friendliness, but simply because their energy cost is one of the lowest. Solar power plants are good for dry areas, and batteries can help smooth out uneven energy production. However, cooling modern data centers still requires a lot of water.