Switch announces 1 GW solar project in Nevada

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Switch, a Nevada-based datacenter conglomerate, has ambitious plans to create the largest solar project in the United States – for its own use and the use of Nevadans throughout the state.

The project, called Gigawatt 1, is the result of a partnership between Switch and Capital Dynamics, which will own and develop the project. The primary purchasers of the power will be Switch and several Switch clients, but it will also serve other private- and public-sector customers both within and outside of Nevada.

Switch CEO and founder Rob Roy says the contracts with other customers are currently being finalized.

“The foundation of [the project] is that Nevada should harness the sun the same way Alaska harnesses its oil to significantly benefit all Nevadans,” 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 United States to create new jobs, tax revenue, economic diversification, and raise energy independence.”

Roy says customers that purchase the electricity from Gigawatt 1 will pay less than they would if they purchased the electricity from NV Energy under its Green Rider Tariff program, though no specifics on rates were announced.

Switch also announced the project will be built with American-made solar panels without naming the module provider, a particularly important point given the current state of flux in which the U.S. module market finds itself under President Donald J. Trump’s tariff schedule, which went into effect at 12:01 am this morning.

This announcement comes a day after Capital Dynamics revealed that it had agreed to acquire yieldco 8point3 Energy Partners and its 710 MW-DC of solar projects from First Solar and SunPower.