"As a leader in sustainability, Switch is proud to receive this prestigious recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Switch EVP of Strategy Adam Kramer. "Switch's data centers have been powered by 100% clean energy since January 2016, utilizing the practice of using local, new resources for its renewable energy needs, which is smart for our business and smart for our environment."
In addition, Switch ranks as No. 21 on EPA's National Top 100 Partners list and No. 9 on the Top 30 Tech and Telecom Partner list. Each list highlights EPA Green Power Partners using the most renewable energy annually as of July 2019. EPA updates its Top Partner Rankings quarterly at www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-top-partner-rankings-0.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally-preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps accelerate the development of those sources in the United States and advances the American green power market. According to the EPA, Switch's current green power use of over 587 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of about 55,000 average American homes annually.
Switch worked with local energy providers to create new green tariffs to allow businesses to purchase new green power through the utilities. These tariffs ensured the full commissioning of Switch Station 1 and Switch Station 2 solar power plants, with a combined generation capacity of 179 MW in Nevada in 2017 and the operation of Cross Winds Energy Park II, which generates 44 MW of green power in Michigan.
Switch Founder and CEO Rob Roy was the creator of one of the largest solar project portfolios in the world announced by Capital Dynamics, Tenaska Power Services Co. and Switch in February 2018. Rob Roy's Gigawatt Nevada through its first project Gigawatt 1, aims to generate the lowest priced solar power in Nevada and generate enough clean energy to power nearly one million homes. In July 2019, Switch and Capital Dynamics announced the Townsite Solar Project, the first acquisition of 180 MW of solar in the Gigawatt 1 portfolio.
Switch's commitment to sustainability extends beyond energy use to the precious resource of water. Switch successfully helped develop proprietary technology that increased its water efficiency by over 400%. Additionally, they are leading a project that will use 100% effluent/recycled water at Switch's Citadel Campus in Northern Nevada.
Switch was the first multi-tenant colocation operator in the world to receive all A grades in sustainability from Greenpeace. Switch also received the Smart Energy Decisions 2019 Innovation Award for Energy Efficiency, is part of The World Resources Institutes' Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles, and is an early adopter of the American Business Act for Climate Pledge. Data runs the planet and Switch wants to ensure it doesn't ruin the planet.