By Jason Hidalgo, RGJ
The first phase in a $1 billion data center just east of Reno-Sparks is underway.
A permit filed with the Storey County Building Department shows that excavation and grading is ongoing for the Switch SUPERNAP colocation data center at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.
The permit shows that the initial grading for preparing the site should be done by late September. The 3 million-square-foot facility will be located in the same industrial park as Tesla Motors’ gigafactory, adding to the list of high-profile projects in the area. Work on the site is being done by Kansas City-based Bluescope Construction and Reno company F&P Construction.
“We’ve started moving dirt (with all employees being) Nevadans on the job site,” said Adam Kramer, vice president of strategy for Switch. “We employed 90 percent Nevadans in Southern Nevada for construction … and we want to keep that same rate or better in Northern Nevada.”
As a colocation facility, the Switch data center will have more staff on its premises than typical data centers such as the Apple facility in Reno Technology Park once it’s operational. In addition to Switch’s own 400 employees at its SUPERNAP Las Vegas site, for example, an additional 5,000 people from client companies also are badged to to work on the site. Switch customers include eBay, Xerox, DreamWorks and Shutterfly.
The addition of the Northern Nevada site also will expand Switch’s “Superloop” coverage to a larger area within the Silver State and California for its clients. Speeds between Reno and Las Vegas, for example, will be reduced to a zippy 7 milliseconds. Add the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas to the mix and the result is a pretty expansive fiber optic network.
“We’ll have 50 million people within 14 milliseconds of the world’s largest technology systems,” Kramer said after the Northern Nevada project was announced in January.
Switch is also working with the University of Nevada, Reno on a new “Innevation Center” located downtown. In addition to helping design the site, Switch also donated half a million dollars for the center’s interior build out. The Innevation Center will feature creative spaces to encourage collaborative work between students, faculty, businesses and entrepreneurs and also work closely with the Innevation Center in Las Vegas.