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Switch, Capital Dynamics to build Gigawatt 1 solar project in Nevada, US

Published 08 February 2018

Technology infrastructure firm Switch and Capital Dynamics will build the Gigawatt 1 solar plant in Nevada, which will be the first of the Gigawatt solar project portfolio.

Switch CEO and Founder Rob Roy's Gigawatt 1 solar project will be built in Northern and Southern Nevada.  The project will produce among the lowest priced solar power in the world and generate enough clean energy to power nearly one million homes.  The Gigawatt 1 concept comes from an initiative called Gigawatt Nevada, first proposed by Rob Roy three years ago.

"The foundation of Gigawatt Nevada is that Nevada should harness the sun the same way Alaska harnesses its oil to significantly benefit all Nevadans," Rob Roy said. 

"Nevada enjoys the best solar window in the nation and so we Nevadans should not only be using solar for ourselves, but exporting it throughout the Western U.S. to create new jobs, tax revenue, economic diversification, and raise energy independence."

The assets will be owned and developed by Capital Dynamics, the second largest owner of solar projects in the country1.  Gigawatt 1 anchor tenants will include Switch, and several of the Switch CORE clients that currently partner with Switch for data center and telecommunication services. 

In addition, multiple private and public sector access customers within Nevada and outside the state are already in negotiations to join the project.  Customers who will receive renewable energy from Gigawatt 1 for substantially less than the cost of receiving renewable energy from NV Energy (Nevada Power) under its green offering called the Green Rider Tariff:

Capital Dynamics director Benoit Allehaut said: "This is the kind of opportunity that only very rarely presents itself. 

"After hearing Rob Roy's vision to build gigawatts of solar in Nevada, this was an opportunity we couldn't pass.  We see a natural partnership to transform not just Nevada, but the entire Western electric grid.  Switch is the leader in cooperative purchasing of telecom capacity and can take a similar leadership role in purchasing and distributing green energy."

The project will be built with American-made solar panels, utilizing Capital Dynamics' many partnerships, and will utilize local Nevada labor.  Switch and Capital Dynamics will negotiate with their EPC contractors and I.B.E.W. 357 and Labors 872 on contract terms to build Gigawatt 1. 

The project portfolio is projected to create 1,250 construction jobs.

Switch and Capital Dynamics will ensure Nevadans benefit from the project.

Greenpeace Weighs-In

Greenpeace energy campaigner Gary Cook said: "Climate scientists have repeatedly warned that we must move to renewable energy as rapidly as possible, but many monopoly utilities continue to hold us back from making this transition.

"Gigawatt 1 shows that when Switch and other leading companies don't take 'no' for an answer, they can work together and kick open the door to large scale sources of renewable energy that are better for the planet, and better for the economy in Nevada."

Greenpeace awarded Switch all A grades, in its most recent Clicking Clean Report, noting Switch "scored among the highest for any class of company and is the definitive leader among colocation operators for its efforts to transition its data center fleet to renewables as fast as possible through a combination of renewable energy procurement and aggressive advocacy."

Source: Company Press Release