electrical repower, data center, & operations building

NOAA, Wallops Island, VA

Providing mission critical upgrades to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration facility, this project plays a major role in analyzing, storing data, monitoring, and predicting weather events. The new complex is now protected from power outages and service disruptions to make certain the data center remains online at all times.

Underground Cabling

52 miles

500 kcmil

450,000 lf


12,500 lf

New Server Building

6,000 sf

Project Details

NOAA WCDAS Electrical Upgrades was a highly complex project in a secured access, active industrial facility that included the replacement of the facility’s primary and secondary power distribution system, cooling water plant, and modifications to the existing Operations Building. New power distribution systems included a new powerhouse with main switchgear, four 1MW generators, paralleling and distribution switchgear, and technical power uninterruptible power supply equipment. The new power distribution system from the new powerhouse to twelve antennas included installation of new duct banks throughout the facility, 52 miles of cabling, precast buildings containing electrical distribution equipment, and remote monitoring systems. New electrical distribution included; 450,000 LF of 500 kcmil, (650,000 LF power distribution system conductors), 12,500 LF of ductbank, 31 miles of 4” conduit, 15,000 CY of excavation and 6,250 CY of concrete. Project included 54 manholes and 600 splices in manholes. The Operations Building modifications scope included replacement of the existing power panels and associated feeders, upgrades to HVAC equipment, a new Antenna control room, and a 6,000 SF server room addition to the Operations Building. The facility’s existing power distribution and cooling plant building was modified by removing all power distribution equipment and generators then retrofitting an expanded chilled water system to increase chilled water system capacity for the new server room and powerhouse. All new power and cooling systems were redundant requiring complex control/monitoring systems with thorough commissioning. The project phasing required careful planning in order to prevent disruption to mission critical satellite communications. Phased transfer of electrical loads to the new systems was systematically performed following extensive testing and commissioning efforts. Project phasing also required the use of temporary chilled water systems while the existing chilled water plant was expanded. The final phase included transfer of mechanical cooling loads to the new chilled water plant. All phased transfers of power/cooling systems were completed without interruption of the highly critical facility operations.