Case Study: Gigawatt 1 – One of the World’s Largest Behind-The-Meter Solar Project

Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 Solar Projects in Nevada. (Photo: Business Wire)


In the rapidly evolving landscape of data center operations, the installation of Behind-The-Meter generation is not just an environmental imperative but also a strategic business decision. The Gigawatt 1 project, spearheaded by Switch in partnership with Capital Dynamics in Nevada, is a groundbreaking example of how Behind-The-Meter solar and battery storage can transform energy management in the data center industry.

 Project Overview

– Capacity: 555 MW solar power, 800 MW hours battery storage.

– Location: Nevada, USA.

– Completion: Ongoing development.

– Developers: Switch, Capital Dynamics.

– Technology: First Solar panels, Tesla Megapacks for battery storage.

 Key Benefits of Behind-the-Meter Generation:

1. Energy Cost Reduction:

   – Gigawatt 1 allows Switch’s data centers to significantly lower energy costs by generating electricity on-site, minimizing dependence on higher-cost grid power, especially during peak usage.

2. Increased Energy Independence:

   – With its substantial solar and storage capacity, Switch can achieve a higher level of energy autonomy. This is particularly advantageous for data centers, where consistent power supply is critical, and energy demand is substantial.

3. Enhanced Sustainability:

   – The project aligns with Switch’s corporate goals for reducing its emissions. By using renewable sources, it significantly cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, setting a new standard in the data center industry for sustainable operations.

4. Long-Term Financial Benefits:

   – Beyond immediate energy cost savings, Gigawatt 1 offers long-term financial incentives including potential tax benefits, improved return on investment over the solar and storage system’s lifespan, and stabilized energy costs.

5. Reliability and Resilience:

   – For data centers, uninterrupted power is non-negotiable. Behind-The-Meter generation provides a reliable energy source, enhancing operational resilience against grid instability and power outages.

6. Reputation and Market Position:

   – Switch’s initiative positions it as a leader in sustainable data center operations, enhancing its appeal to environmentally conscious clients and stakeholders, and bolstering its market reputation.

Case Study Insights

For data center operators and other industries considering a shift to renewable energy, Gigawatt 1 serves as a comprehensive case study. It exemplifies the multifaceted advantages of Behind-The-Meter generation – from operational efficiency and cost savings to sustainability and enhanced market image. As industries globally move towards greener solutions, Behind-The-Meter projects like Gigawatt 1 represent a forward-thinking, responsible approach to energy management.

Switch Press Release