Switch data center to be powered by 180 MW solar array

Switch, a global provider of technology solutions, has revealed that its entire data center fleet will be 100% powered by solar energy following the completion of 180 MW of PV capacity set to be installed in the U.S. state of Nevada.

The company has confirmed that it is working with utility NV Energy to complete Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 before the end of 2016. Solar panels will be provided by First Solar, and the completed facility will produce enough solar energy to meet the power needs of Switch’s SUPERNAP data centers.

The centers are used not only by Switch but also more than 1,000 colocated clients. Thus, the 180 MW of solar PV being installed in the state will also deliver green credentials to many companies that use Switch’s data centers.

In pledging such wide PV adoption, Switch has become the first data center provider, and the first Nevada company, to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge – an initiative that brings together private sector companies intent on playing their part in the fight against climate change.

The company has also worked closely with NV Energy and Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission on the creation of the NV Green Energy Rider tariff, which covers southern Nevada. The tariff taps into NV Energy’s network of renewable generation sources – which will soon include Switch’s own solar power plants – to deliver clean energy services to Switch around the clock.

According to NV Energy president and CEO Paul Caudill, Switch has set a new standard in embracing renewable energy to power its business. "Switch’s leadership has opened the door for other large customers, including the City of Las Vegas, to meet their own renewable energy goals without negatively impacting the rates of other customers."

The impact of data centers on the U.S. energy landscape is vast. Data from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reveals that data centers are the fastest growing consumers of electricity in the country, consuming more than twice the power required to supply all of the households of New York City last year.

Many of Silicon Valley’s largest blue chip companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, have recently taken steps to "green" their data centers, showing a distinct preference for solar power.