Gigawatt 1, one of the largest solar project portfolios in the world, is the implementation of an initiative called Rob Roy’s Gigawatt Nevada, first proposed by Switch Founder & CEO Rob Roy in early 2015. The foundation of Gigawatt Nevada is harnessing the unique solar energy resources in Nevada to create new jobs, generate tax revenue, achieve greater economic diversification, and increase energy independence.
Switch and Capital Dynamics announced three ground-breakings in Nevada, which, along with an earlier phase, will continue Switch Founder and CEO Rob Roy’s Gigawatt Nevada solar energy and battery vision to develop one of the largest solar footprint and battery storage projects in the technology industry.
“In the midst of this unprecedented moment in our state’s history, Switch and its partners are investing USD 1.3 billion, creating over a thousand new jobs and accelerating Nevada’s leadership in the world’s renewable energy economy,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “Projects like this are exactly what the Legislature had in mind when it passed and I signed SB547 to expand investment and jobs in Nevada.”
The massive scale of these phases of Gigawatt 1 will use thousands of solar panels made by First Solar, an American company and battery storage utilizing Tesla Megapack which is manufactured in Storey County, Nevada, at the Tesla Gigafactory.
“With today’s announcement Rob Roy’s Gigawatt Nevada now has four solar with battery storage projects in the state creating nearly 1 gigawatt of energy solutions,” said Adam Kramer, Switch EVP of Strategy. “This project also ensures Switch’s power costs will remain in the 5 cent a KWh range and Switch clients will continue to enjoy low-cost, 100% renewable power for decades to come.”
With these new ground-breakings in Clark and Storey counties, plus the original Townsite development, Gigawatt 1 will soon generate a total of 555 MW of solar power and create 800 MW hours of battery storage. Additionally, the Storey County location will be the largest behind-the-meter solar project in the world producing 127MW and will include a 240 MW hour battery storage system. Behind-the-meter projects generate power off the public grid, placing no burden on legacy public utility production.
“The Capital Dynamics Clean Energy Infrastructure team is delighted to work closely with Switch who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a technology company in sustainability both in Nevada and nationwide,” said Benoit Allehaut, Managing Director on Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure team. “We are also pleased to have collaborated with Tesla to install Megapack energy storage systems on four hybrid solar and storage projects in California and Nevada. This selection was the result of a comprehensive due diligence process. We believe that industry leadership is achieved through scale and innovation and are pleased with the tremendous progress we have made in combined solar and storage plants thanks to Switch and Tesla.”
The integrator of Gigawatt 1 is Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses who will use the Tesla Megapack.
“We are pleased to play a significant role in this ground-breaking initiative,” said Mark Noyes President and CEO of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses. “The innovative partnership between all parties involved will continue to drive the sustainability agenda for Switch and the State of Nevada.”
The announcement drew praise from leading national renewable energy advocates as well. “Nevada can enjoy the benefit of needed economic growth and strike a critical balance for the environment and precious natural resources,” said long-time clean energy proponent Rose McKinney-James, managing partner of Rose McKinney-James and Associates and Energy Works LLC. “This project represents a major advancement for Nevada and we applaud Switch and their partners for continuing to push the envelope of sustainable business operations and renewable energy.”
Energy shaping, development, construction, asset management & operations of all projects will be led by Capital Dynamics’ affiliate Arevon, who performs these services for more than 5GW of wind and solar assets on behalf of Capital Dynamics.