Switch will use reclaimed water to operate its Citadel data center campus near Reno, tapping into a new pipeline that will bring treated effluent water to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRI). Construction began this week on the 16-mile pipeline, which will deliver 4,000 acre-feet of treated effluent water from Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF) in Sparks to the TRI Center.
Switch operates a 1.3 million square foot data center at the Citadel campus, where the company intends to build up to 7.2 million square feet of IT capacity and a total power capacity of 650 megawatts. The pipeline will support all of the water requirements at the campus when it is completed in the first quarter of 2023.
“Switch is proud to have been part of this critical infrastructure project from inception through fruition,” said Switch President Thomas Morton. “This innovative solution helps not only Switch, but our 1,300 plus global customers, operate mission-critical technology infrastructure in the most sustainable way using 100% recycled water to protect the area’s precious natural resources.”
The Citadel Campus is among the new mega-scale cloud campuses, featuring massive data centers powered by renewable energy. It is the latest sign of the way that cloud computing is reshaping America’s Internet infrastructure, focusing IT capacity in energy-efficient hubs that can deploy cutting-edge strategies in data center design and energy procurement.
But extreme heat and drought are bringing sharper scrutiny of data center water use at these massive server farms. This has become an issue in part of the West that have seen an extended drought, raising concerns about water scarcity.
Public-Private Partnership With Regional Benefits
The pipeline project led by TRI Center and Switch is a regional public-private partnership that brings together the state of Nevada, City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Storey County and Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA).
While providing reclaimed water to TRI and its tenants, the pipeline also brings meaningful environmental benefits to the region, eliminating the flow of nitrate-rich effluent water into the Truckee River and improving the water quality for Pyramid Lake by reducing the nitrates into Truckee River. This will also help protect the endangered Cui-ui fish, which is found only in the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.
“This important project checks the box on several of our major environmental objectives,” said TMWA Director John Enloe. “This has proven a very innovative solution to an otherwise complex set of needs in the region. We couldn’t be more pleased to see this project get underway.”
Roger Norman, the developer of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, said the project is especially meaningful for its environmental importance.
“We will do good for people, water and endangered species and, at the same time, address a critical environmental need of providing useful water for business without adding burden to public uses,” said Norman.
Switch, a Las Vegas based digital infrastructure company, operates one of the largest cloud campuses in the world at its Las Vegas CORE Campus, where founder Rob Roy introduced pioneering concepts in high-density cooling and aisle containment, as well as custom multi-mode cooling systems. The company has added four more purpose-built campuses – the Citadel Campus in Reno, the Pyramid Campus in Michigan, the Keep Campus in Atlanta and most recently a multi-site Texas campus featuring the purpose-built Rock Campus at Dell headquarters in Austin and facilities Switch acquired from Data Foundry in Austin and Houston.