Switch has brought online the first of several planned data centers on its Citadel Campus outside of Reno, Nevada, neighboring the Tesla Gigafactory that manufactures batteries, and an Apple data center campus. Switch’s anchor tenant in Reno is eBay.
The Las Vegas-based data center provider is known for building facilities at massive scale, using bold, flashy interior design and ex-military armed guards. Reno was its first expansion outside of Las Vegas, but sites in Michigan, Italy, and Thailand are now also under construction.
True to form, its first Reno facility, dubbed Tahoe Reno 1, is 1.3 million square feet large and can support up to 130 MW of power. Switch’s design for the 2,000 acre campus calls for up to 7.2 million square feet and 650 MW of power total, the company said in a statement.
While Reno has not historically been a major data center market, the Switch and Apple campuses may change that, as Switch customers and Apple continue expanding capacity. The location has strong data center market characteristics, such as availability of low-cost energy, low taxes, and proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Switch said it buys energy in bulk at about $0.05 per kWh and offers customers 10 Gbps connectivity at 4 millisecond latency between Reno and San Francisco Bay Area.
Its customers in Reno -- like its customers in Las Vegas -- buy telco services through a purchasing cooperative the company has set up, which enables them to take advantage of bulk deals with more than 50 carriers.
The campus is fully powered by renewable energy, thanks to a recent deal Switch struck with the local utility and state utility regulators after years of legal battles, in which the company was fighting to be allowed to exit the utility’s near-monopoly and make power purchase deals with renewable energy producers independently.
This year, Switch for the first time was mentioned in Greenpeace’s Clicking Clean report, which gave it the highest marks for renewable energy use and advocacy among data center providers. The company has committed to powering all of its data centers with renewable energy.