- Location: Butte, Montana
- Owner: CryptoWatt Mining, LLC
- Engineer(s): Electrical Consultants, Inc.
- Contract Type: Design-Build
- Status: Currently in construction
With the goal of operating 300 MW worth of data centers across western Montana, CryptoWatt Mining is developing a Bitcoin mining data center in Butte, Montana. Drawn to this area for its cold weather to assist in cooling thousands of servers, as well as its affordable and available power and land, CryptoWatt Mining is retrofitting existing buildings to house the data centers in addition to performing brownfield substation upgrades that will support the projected server load. CryptoWatt Mining contracted with Barnard to complete substation upgrades in two phases. Barnard worked under an accelerated schedule to complete Phase 1 upgrades to the existing MSE Substation, and is currently working on Phase 2 upgrades under a similar schedule to allow the data center to begin operations as soon as possible.
Throughout the design process, Barnard is maintaining close communication with and obtaining design approvals from NorthWestern Energy (NWE), as the MSE Substation ties into its power supply. This substation also serves as the only breaker between the Basin Creek 51.8 MW power plant, a gas-fired peaker facility, and NWE’s lines. The MSE Substation initially provided 20 MW of power to the existing industrial complex, which Barnard upgraded to a 66.7 MW capacity in Phase 1. Starting in June 2018, Barnard began Phase 2 work, involving installation of a second 161-13.8kV transformer to increase the facility’s capacity to 133.4 MW.