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US data centre provider Switch taps Tesla battery storage for surplus solar power

Written by Thu 30 Jul 2020

Gigawatt 1 project in Nevada picks up steam

US data centre firm Switch and private equity company Capital Dynamics have begun work on three solar and battery storage facilities in Nevada.

The three phases are part of the previously announced Gigawatt 1 project, which combined with an existing phase will provide 555 MW of solar power and 500 MWh of battery storage.

In a press release, the companies claimed Gigawatt 1 will be one of the world’s largest solar footprint and battery storage projects when completed.

“With today’s announcement Rob Roy’s Gigawatt Nevada now has four solar with battery storage projects in the state creating nearly 1 gigawatt of energy solutions,” said Adam Kramer, Switch EVP of Strategy.

“This project also ensures Switch’s power costs will remain in the 5 cent a KWh range and Switch clients will continue to enjoy low-cost, 100% renewable power for decades to come.”

First Solar is providing thousands of panels for the new developments which will be integrated with Tesla Megapack batteries.

Tesla’s Gigafactory manufacturing plant is conveniently located close to Switch’s campus in Nevada, which is somewhat of a sunspot. While it has been running on solar energy since 2016, Switch has been unable to store the large amounts of surplus energy produced. Tesla Megapacks will allow the provider to harness excess solar production and reduce total energy costs.

One of the phases, in Storey County, will be the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world, producing 127 MW and boasting a 240 MW hour battery storage system. A behind-the-meter project generates power off the public grid, avoiding strain on public utilities.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak praised the announcement:

“In the midst of this unprecedented moment in our state’s history, Switch and its partners are investing $1.3 billion, creating over a thousand new jobs and accelerating Nevada’s leadership in the world’s renewable energy economy,” he said.

Written by Thu 30 Jul 2020


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