- Location: Butte, Montana
- Owner: CryptoWatt Mining, LLC
- Engineer(s): Electrical Consultants, Inc.
- Contract Type: Design-Build
- Status: Completed
With the goal of operating 300 MW worth of data centers across western Montana, CryptoWatt Mining developed 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 retrofitted existing buildings to house the data centers and performed brownfield substation upgrades to support the projected server load. CryptoWatt Mining contracted with Barnard to complete substation upgrades in two phases. Barnard worked under an accelerated schedule in both phases to allow the data center to begin operations as soon as possible.
Throughout the design process, Barnard maintained close communication with and obtained 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. Barnard then began Phase 2 work that involved installing a second 161-13.8kV transformer, increasing the facility’s capacity to 133.4 MW.