The world’s largest lithium battery factory is going to be built in Reno at an industrial park. The company, Switch, will invest $1 billion in a facility that stretches some three million square feet. Referred to as a “supernap” center, the factory will sit on 1,000 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center where a $5 billion gigafactory is being constructed by Tesla Motors to make batteries used for powering electric vehicles.
In his State address last Thursday, Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval said the Switch plant along with the Tesla Motors plant will make the state the most digitally connected in the country. On hand during the address were Switch founder and CEO Rob Roy.
Currently, Switch overseas two data centers in Las Vegas, which provide power, cooling, and security for stacks of literally thousands of servers owned by some of the most prominent clients. There are over 1,000 services used by Zappos, eBay, DreamWorks, Xerox, Shutterfly, Amazon, and even the United States government.
Included in the “supernap” center project will be a “superloop”, which is the development of a 500-mile network of fiber optic. With this, Reno, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles will be connected. This optic run will also increase the speed that information travels between the cities significantly.
According to Switch, within 14 milliseconds of data 50 million people will be placed with information moving in just 7 milliseconds between Reno and Las Vegas.
In addition to Switch and Tesla Motors, in 2012 Apple’s $1 billion data center came to Reno. As stated by Adam Kramer, vice president of government and public affairs for Switch, for the new project, tax incentives are expected but this requires bringing 100 jobs to the center. It is also anticipated that it will take anywhere from five to ten years for the project to be complete but that by second quarter of next year, the facility should be open.
As to the number of jobs the new “supernap” center will provide remains unknown but at the current Switch center in Las Vegas, some 400 workers are employed. That center will also be expanded from its 2 million to 3.5 square million feet. Kramer did confirm for the Las Vegas site, an additional 5,000 people were added to handle clients.
Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Steve Hill said that Storey County must still approve the project along with Nevada’s economic development board. However, included in the approval would be a sales tax reduction of 2% coupled with a 15-year 75% reduction in personal property taxes.
In closing, Sandoval stated that the “supernap” Switch center is just one huge victory of many that Nevada has experienced in recent years, all efforts to diversity an economy that relies heavily on revenue from gambling and tourism.
In addition to this news, Nevada was chosen as just one of six training sites in the country for drones. Sandoval commented that the state is now home to literally dozens more national brands who keep people in Nevada employed. These include those in industries like aviation, medicine, security, data storage, renewable energy, and manufacturing, among others.