Data Center Substations | Black & Veatch

Data Center Substations

Providing quicker grid connections for data centers to access reliable power

Why do Data Centers Need Substations?

The modern world demands huge amounts of data. Artificial intelligence, cloud storage, and the internet of things, all rely on consistent, reliable access to data – and also create huge amounts of it. As a result, the industry is seeing key trends that impact design: 

  • Data center clients are having to build bigger and faster than ever before. They’re also having to find a way to power the data centers quickly – often quicker than a typical utility interconnect que allows for.  

  • As climate impacts become more noticeable, they have to ensure that their assets are both reliable and resilient. Increased scrutiny on environmental targets also means that these facilities have to be greener and conscious of water and power usage.  

  • Even with all of these demands to consider – speed to market is paramount. As a full engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider, Black & Veatch knows how to complete projects on schedule.  

A substation is a critical component of data center grid connection. It allows power from the local utility to be interconnected as a power source. However, with the huge demand for renewable power integration into the electric grid, the waiting list is a long one, and data centers can often be built long before the utility will be able to build infrastructure to power them. The solution? Building a substation owned by the data center.  

Why Partner with Black & Veatch for Your Data Center Grid Connection?

Black & Veatch has expertise on both data centers and substations. With that experience comes understanding of what’s needed to not only deliver this critical piece of infrastructure on schedule, but also ensure its resiliency and alignment with future growth. 

Substation Experience  

We have an industry-leading substation team that brings 80+ years of grid experience, and a deep bench of professionals that work on over 2,000 substation projects a year. This large, well-seasoned team delivers a lot of value to data center substation projects, including:  

  • Pre-Existing Relationships with Utilities. Our team understands their requirements for interconnection and how to navigate them. 

  • Many Areas of Specialization. Our diverse capabilities give you access to additional specialized expertise such as seismic and geotechnical engineering, leading you to a more robust solution. 

  • Full EPC Capabilities. We can support concurrent projects (like estimating, design, procurement, construction and operations and maintenance). We’re able to deliver multiple projects at the same time without sacrificing quality.  

  • In-House Subject Matter Experts. Our team guides you through every step of reaching your goals – resulting in better reliability for your substation and your data center.

Data Center Experience 

Our data center team has been in the industry for 40+ years and has completed more than 120 projects in the last decade alone. We have experience with multi-site programs or individual project types. Our wide breadth and depth of data center experience set us apart from our competitors in the following ways:

  • Integration Within the Data Center Industry. We’re aware of rapid changes and future trends – we know how to deliver a substation that supports your data center now and into the future.  

  • Respect for the Importance of Consistent, Reliable Power. We know what’s driving your 24/7, “always on” infrastructure need and can ensure that your substation fits that need.  

What Does our Data Center Grid Connect Solution Include?

Black & Veatch offers a full range of power solutions including microgrids, renewables and conventional generation. We guide our clients to solutions when their energy demands exceed grid capacity. Our team can deliver every piece of grid integration infrastructure, including: 

  • Modularized Air Insulated Substation (AIS) solution to shorten onsite construction 

  • In-house protection and SCADA specialists 

  • Ability to self-perform procurement, design, and commissioning of SCADA 

  • Knowledgeable on interconnection of renewable plants with transmission stations 

  • Ability to effectively integrate both static and dynamic reactive power

  • Extensive experience in transmission construction as an EPC Contractor 

  • Team of overhead and underground transmission specialists with access to leading industry tools 

  • Specialists in environmental services, routing, and land acquisition

  • Dedicated transmission owner teams who learn, develop, and contribute to design standards 

  • Specialists who know and understand NERC regulations applicable to transmission stations 

  • Full ability to coordinate with renewable generation owners to implement communications to the satisfaction of the interconnect agreement

Meet Black & Veatch

We seek partners in innovation. Let's start the conversation.