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$3bn Solar Data Centre Might be Coming to Arizona

Arizona is on track to be home to a $3 billion 340MW solar farm which will power an off-grid data centre. The plan was announced by Pegasus Group Holdings, a solar infrastructure company, and Plus Minus Power, a microgrid company.

The farm is being dubbed The Hive and they claim it will be the largest solar powered data centre in the world, with plans to open before the end of 2019. The site is close to the Griffith Energy facility, south of Kingman, and will be 717 acres in size.

In their press release, the two companies said that they would build the data centre from a network of modified cargo containers. Each container will contain from 500 to 1000 servers. The solar field generates 340MW and these servers would consume nearly all of that. The tasks it could be used for include cryptocurrency mining, 3D film rendering for movie studios, human genome sequencers, and more. Anything leftover will be transferred into the power grids.

“I am extremely excited to welcome Pegasus Group Holdings to Mohave County. Pegasus will be locating what is reported to be the largest solar powered data center in the world, in Mohave County's District 4 – the area that I represent,” said Jean Bishop, Mohave County Supervisor. “The team at Pegasus Group Holdings has been delightful to work with and I am happy to say they have a desire to be strong community partners and an asset to the Mohave County/Golden Valley area.”

The project also has support from Tami Ursenbach, Mohave County’s Director of Economic Development.

Solar panels arrived on the site in June and there is now a construction crew working on the facility, according to the Mohave Valley Daily News. The site has been zoned for heavy manufacturing, which allows them to build the required infrastructure, but they still need to submit a site plan and pass regulatory approvals.

In mid-July, Pegasus Group Holdings and Plus Minus Power merged. The latter has become a wholly-owned subsidiary and the CEO, Dan Briggs, has taken the same position at the former.

Information about the two companies is scarce. They both appear to be new companies and this massive undertaking is the first thing they’ve worked on together. Pegasus is described as a “holding company that owns and operates renewable energy based hyperscale data center ecosystems”, but there is no information as to who their clients are.

Pegasus haven’t revealed who will be the main users of the data centre facility or how much interest they’ve received. They claim that the project will offer 50 new jobs to residents and thanked the local government for helping the project proceed on an accelerated timeline.

Arizona continues to embrace the technology industry. Its 200 sunny days a year make it a perfect place to invest in solar power. Its why companies like Microsoft are setting data centres up there, in partnership with First Solar, that are energy efficient and benefit from a water replenishment strategy. We’ll see how Pegasus get on when competing with Microsoft.


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