PSE Modular Data Center

Puget Sound Energy Modular Data Centers

As one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest electricity and natural gas providers, it is imperative that Puget Sound Energy (PSE) always provide structural and system excellence. While local and global trends continue to prioritize digital traffic, the demand for reliable data centers continues to rise substantially.

So, when PSE was faced with low server storage, lack of power and cooling capacity to meet consumer needs, and points of redundancy failure within their existing IT infrastructure, a massive update prioritizing stability to data center operations was critical. An east and west site were strategically chosen to maintain uptime during potential weather events or other localized interruptions. The new data centers would require at a minimum:

  • 99% uptime
  • Redundant Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) system/backup generator with at least N+1 power solution
  • Redundant HVAC system with at least N+1 chiller plant ant N+2 on air handling units
  • Cooling efficiencies infrastructure
  • Accommodates 10% growth per year for servers and storage
  • Space for 90 racks and IT load capacity of 450kW

McKinstry’s integrated mechanical and electrical teams were provided engineering expertise and skilled field teams, while leveraging their existing knowledge of data center construction. BASELAYER was able to provide containerized, modular data center components that offer scalable flexibility and a low initial cost. Together, all teams were able to deliver two, identical data centers, while also consolidating data from PSE’s four, existing, active data centers across western Washington.

AECOM was the designer for the data center. They were unable to provide their typical, data center engineers and instead used a nuclear power plant engineer. McKinstry looked at the one-line they sent early on and instantly knew that it would cost more than the project budget in both procurement and labor hours. Scott was able to put together a new one-line that reduced procurement costs by $1.5 million and countless field hours.

Because McKinstry was involved in design early on, we were able to revise and simplify the design as it was created. We worked hand-in-hand with the design team to ensure that the design would meet all performance and scheduling requirements. Had we adhered to a traditional design-bid-build method, we would have lost too many critical schedule hours to make design changes.

baselayer system

The BASELAYER modular data center is comprised of prebuilt, stackable, interconnected, functional blocks for IT, cooling, power, and a security vestibule. It can be scaled as needed, and features RunSmart, intelligent control operating system that was customized to provide role-based visibility, system warnings, alarms, and ability to set system thresholds.


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