Sustainability and Technology

Switch plans '100-percent green' data centers

January 21, 2016
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Switch Steelcase Pyramid data center campus rendering
A partial rendering of the $5 billion, 2-million-square-foot data center campus planned by Switch for the former Steelcase Pyramid property. Courtesy Switch

Nevada-based Switch is planning to power its SUPERNAP data center campus in the area with 100-percent renewable energy.

Switch announced the decision today for its planned data center campus at the former Steelcase Pyramid in Caledonia, at 6100 E. Paris Ave. SE.

Earlier this month, the company also announced that all of its SUPERNAP data centers in Nevada are now powered with 100-percent renewable energy.

Switch said it has begun working with local utility Consumers Energy to develop a comprehensive plan to power SUPERNAP Michigan with 100-percent green power.

Adam Kramer, Switch EVP of strategy, said the ability to power its facility with renewable energy played a part in its decision to locate its newest data center in West Michigan.

He said sustainably running the Internet is “one of the driving principles of Switch.”

“We had to find a local utility who could provide a pathway to 100-percent renewable power,” Kramer said.

Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy VP and chief customer officer, said the utility is excited to partner with Switch to make the “largest data center in the eastern U.S. the greenest."

Switch also announced it has become a member of the WWF/WRI Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles.

The group was established to "articulate the common needs of large renewable energy buyers." The goal is to spur progress on increasing access to renewable energy and to add the perspective of large entities that intend to go green or who have already gone green, such as Switch, to the future of the U.S. energy and electricity systems.

By joining the Buyers' Principles, Switch will contribute its knowledge on how to create green energy tariffs and procure new, local, renewable generation with other companies that “share Switch's commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Kramer said Switch’s goals align “perfectly” with the Buyers' Principles, which is why Switch was “excited to join.”

Joining the Buyers' Principles is a continuation of the "major public commitments" Switch has made to sustainability over the last two years.

During the 2015 National Clean Energy Summit 8.0 held in Las Vegas, where President Barack Obama was the featured keynote speaker, Switch became the first data center provider to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

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