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A Substation is a facility that plays several critical roles along the power grid in transferring energy from production to consumption.

There are three types of substations:

  • Step-up: These facilities raise the voltage from generators in order to efficiently transmit electricity.
  • Step-down: These substations lower the voltage from transmission lines to subtransmission voltage.
  • Distribution: This type of substation lowers the subtransmission voltage to serve industrial, commercial and residential needs through a distribution transformer.

In addition to transferring energy, the substation also protects equipment from faults, otherwise known as short circuits, that can damage power lines and other equipment.

Data center owners may request that a utility provider build a dedicated substation on their campus or may even develop their own substation for a parcel.

Advantages of an on-site substation include: the ability to get the data center up and running as much as year quicker; control over its operations; flexibility and scalability; and increased security.