I often refer to "utility scale" data centers in presentations and education forums because the scale of these facilites drives home the magnitude of the impact they are having on utilities and energy use in this country. (I do give credit to the operators of utility scale data centers for driving the industry emphasis on energy efficiency.)
Until now, I've called out data centers that just exceed 100 MW of load as the behemoths in the segment, or the data center "parks" that have loads of 250 MW or so.
Now comes word of an expansion of the Switch SuperNAP facility in Las Vegas in a report in DatacenterDynamics newsletter: when complete, the facility will exceed two million square feet, with room for 31,000 equipment racks. And power? Right at 500 MW, with equivalent generator backup (that's 250 units, assuming 2 MW per).
Perhaps my standard way of converting load figures into layman's terms are now out of date. Energy use by SuperNAP could serve 375,000 homes in California, but maybe we need to start comparing these power draws to full-fledged cities, or oil refineries, or total loads of familiar utilities...