$14M Power Distribution Unit Replacement?

Photo courtesy of
‘wheat pennies bw’
courtesy of ‘christaki’

The root cause of yesterday’s Metro failure was the death of a 27-year old Power Distribution Unit (be sure to click through for the pictures of what was left… (read yesterday’s interview with Chuck Goolsbee to get more detail as to what these do), and while there’s an interim solution in place, full replacement is necessary. Metro is estimating that this will cost approximately $14M to do correctly, including upgrades and replacements of HVAC gear, and a new generator. This is the sort of capital improvement that happens maybe once a quarter-century, so it’s likely that they’ll get it, however, when I asked Chuck about the cost, this is what he said: “I could build an entire new datacenter facility for 14mil!”

Yikes. That’s a bunch of money…

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

Facebook Twitter Flickr 

3 thoughts on “$14M Power Distribution Unit Replacement?

  1. It’s more expensive to rebuild something than it is to build a new one, since you have to keep all the old stuff running while you add all the new stuff. In the end that $14M probably does buy them a whole new facility, just wrapped in the same clothing as the old one.

    Still, I wouldn’t want the job. Actually, maybe I would. It probably pays well.

  2. What I wonder is why such a critical piece of equipment was left in place for 37 years. Small comfort now that it was recently identified as a risk.

  3. It also costs more to retrofit an active facility. Ask what it would cost to put in a whole new power system “side by side” with an existing unit while keeping the facility on line. I’m curious what the response is.