July 29, 2020 Read More →

Data center in Nevada to host world’s largest customer-sited solar-plus-storage project

Greentech Media:

A colossal Nevada data center will host the largest customer-sited solar-storage project in the world.

Data center operator Switch plans to buy power for its record-breaking Citadel facility from an adjacent project developed and owned by Capital Dynamics. A 60-megawatt/240-megawatt-hour Tesla Megapack installation will turn 127 megawatts of solar capacity into a nearly 24/7 power source.

This marks one entry in a broader effort by Switch founder and CEO Rob Roy to meet his company’s energy needs with clean-energy investment in its home base of Nevada. But while plenty of tech companies have purchased clean energy to account for their power consumption, and some have required clean energy produced in the regions where it is consumed, none have produced it at their own facilities at this scale.

The largest behind-the-meter battery title previously went to Convergent Energy + Power for 10-megawatt systems to help industrial companies dodge demand charges in Ontario, Canada. The Switch battery, integrated by Con Edison’s commercial solutions arm, would be six times larger than Convergent’s systems when it comes online in a couple of years.

“We see ourselves doing more,” said Benoit Allehaut, managing director for clean energy infrastructure at Capital Dynamics. But, he added, “We have to have scale, and it’s a custom job. The replicability is feasible, but with limitations.”

Data centers have a generally flat demand profile, which influenced the choice to add a battery to the solar facility. The battery sizing turns the roughly 130 megawatts of solar capacity into 30 megawatts of “quasi-baseload” renewables, Allehaut said.

[Julian Spector]

More: World’s largest customer-sited solar-storage plant planned for Nevada desert

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