Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center

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The main facilities of the MGHPCC

Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) is a high-performance computing facility located in Holyoke, Massachusetts and constructed to use power from the Holyoke Canal System. MGHPCC is a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts system, MIT, Harvard, Boston University, and Northeastern.[1]


The Center was first planned in early 2009 in joint discussions between MIT and UMass. Boston University, Northeastern, and Harvard joined the planning process soon thereafter. Holyoke was selected as the location on June 11, 2009. The specific site was announced on August 9, 2010; a century ago the site had housed a textile mill.[2] Ground was broken on October 5, 2011. The topping off ceremony occurred on November 29, 2011.[3] The facility was completed in November 2012.[4]


Funding for the construction of the facility came first and foremost from the five university partners.[5] The state of Massachusetts pledged $25 million toward associated costs.[6] Additional support came from Cisco Systems, and EMC Corporation. The U.S. Department of Commerce spent $2.1 million on hydroelectric infrastructure improvements to support the center and similar businesses in the city's Innovation District.[7]

Energy supply[edit]

Holyoke Gas and Electric partnered with the consortium to do the site selection and to contract for the provision of green power from their hydroelectric facilities. Between 2011-2013, Holyoke Gas and Electric constructed the new North Canal Substation located on Water Street which provides the electrical service for the computer center via two dedicated 34.5 kv feeders directly from the substation's 34.5 kv bus. The MGHPCC shares the 34.5 kv bus exclusively with the Hadley Falls Hydro Electric station, the largest of HG&E's hydro facilities, which creates a direct power path to the computing center from the Hadley Falls plant. Two 115kv/34.5 kv transformers at the substation connect the bus to the transmission system and provide electricity from the grid to the computing center when the hydro plant is offline or generating less power than the computing center is using. These transformers also function to deliver excess power to the grid when the Hadley Falls station is producing more output than what the computing center is using.


  • Executive Director: John Goodhue;
  • Founding Board Chair: Jack M. Wilson, President-Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts;
  • Current Board Chair (Nov. 2011-): Robert Brown, President of Boston University.


  1. ^ "High-tech computing center on track", Boston Globe, October 22, 2009
  2. ^ "Mass. schools team up for supercomputer center", Washington Times, October 9, 2011
  3. ^ SuperComputer Center 'Topped Off', Harvard Crimson, November 30, 2011
  4. ^ "ABOUT | MGHPCC". Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  5. ^ "Partners | MGHPCC". Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  6. ^ "Mass. pledges $25M for Holyoke computing center", Mass High Tech, March 29, 2010
  7. ^ Department of Commerce press release, August 24, 2011

External links[edit]