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How many polar bears must die so that we can read Nick Kristof in a hurricane?

How many polar bears must die so that we can read Nick Kristof in a hurricane?

NY Times has massive off-grid power generators

This is a follow up to my post Dear generator-owning homeowners, do not invite Nick Kristof over next time there is a hurricane, regarding the complaint by NY Times columnist Nick Kristof about rich people with off-grid electricity generators:

That’s how things often work in America. Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.

Reader fmc commented about an hour ago:

The New York Times must have it’s own PRIVATE power generation system. It probably costs close to a million dollars to build and maintain, not to mention the cost of a professional electrician or two. Does this NYT writer expect his company to forego its own electrical backup solution because some people can afford one or won’t bother to plan for disaster?

Well what do you know.  The NY Times Building has a massive off-grid, private, electricity generator system:

Two Caterpillar gas engine generators provide 1,400 kW of grid-independent power to serve The New York Times Data Center and other critical loads in this mid-town high rise….

The New York Times Building is a 52 story midtown high rise that opened in 2007. The Times Company owns and occupies about half of the 1.5 million square feet in this facility. They needed a highly-reliable, redundant source of power for their data center UPS and other critical loads. A CHP system was designed by WSP Flack & Kurtz with two Caterpillar 700 kW natural-gas-driven engines as the primary source of power. Diesel engines and the utility grid provide backup and redundancy for this system. If generator power is lost, a series of automated transfer switches ensure that power flow can be maintained to these critical loads at all times.

At least it’s only for back up, right?  Because nothing would make Kristof angrier than inefficient off-grid, global warming producing electricity generation.  Oh wait:

The generators run around the clock throughout the year to serve these loads.

How many polar bears must die so that we can read Nick Kristof’s columns even in a hurricane?

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Diesel engines and the utility grid provide backup and redundancy for this system.
If generator power is lost, a series of automated transfer switches ensure that power flow can be maintained to these critical loads at all times.
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so they have a 1400KW power plant only for themselves and yet still need ability to siphon from the grid. bet they don’t backfeed it though..

SO…!!!

They have TWO sets of generators…primary natural gas, secondary (redundant) diesel!!!

Heh! Good engineering. Crappy Kristof consistency.

Bet they have A/C, too, huh.

It would appear that the wealthy hoarder known as the NYT has back-up generators to keep the redundant BS ever flowing out of Kristof’s computer.

Yeah, we sure don’t want a columnist’s coffee maker to stop belching because of a power outage – a lost cup of joe is insufferable.

My wife tells me Kristof is Russian for idiot.

We’re left with a 3rd world power grid because the green weenies refuse to allow anyone to move on to the next century.

Phillep Harding | November 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Gee. No windmill on top the building? No solar cells? They use a (gasp) /generator/????

    “The generators run around the clock throughout the year to serve these loads.”

    This is, btw, what “Green Energy” amounts to in actual practice. All those windmills you see getting built? Totally unreliable. EPA estimates that they contribute to the grid only 30% of the time. Actual data from utilities that consume this energy show that your average windmill is contributing to the grid only 8% of the time.

    So, where does the power actually come from? Nuclear is cheap and reliable base load, but you run it at 100% of capacity 99.8% of the time. Coal and Natural Gas cost more than double nuclear. Coal has the same probablem as nuclear though: it takes awhile to start up/shut down. You want to run it as base load. Peak load gets covered by natural gas. The simple reason as that its a cinch to start up/shut down the generators. So, every time you see a windmill and think ‘green energy’, realize that the actual power is being generated by a natural gas fired generator, similar though larger than the one pictured above, at some power plant.

    We actually have decreased our CO2 footprint from power generation – thanks to natural gas.

    Wind, btw, costs about $115/MW compared to coal/nat gas at about $65/MW. Nuclear is about $28/MW. That’s onshore wind, of course, wind turbines at sea cost more than triple that (when they’re functioning, which is essentially never – they break down far more often and are very expensive to repair). Solar doesn’t really exist in the US on a commercial level (wind is ~1% of generation, officially, far less in practice. Even so, its still about 100x more than solar).

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to Aarradin. | November 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      Twenty or so years ago the electric power industry had a TV ad promoting the reliability of the modern power grid. It featured different members of farm family circa 1930 trying to listen to the radio throughout the day. Their power source was the farm windmill. Dad would lose the ballgame play by play with the bases loads at the Babe coming up to bat when the wind shifted. The mom and the kids would lose the evening variety show just as the lead act began their set because the wind calmed for the night.

    You would think with all the hot air they produce they would already be off the grid.

Waitaminit… I thought that the Times was on the financial rocks! Wha’rs the dough a-coming from?

Conservative minds need to know..

    Aarradin in reply to GrumpyOne. | November 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Its unusual to use generators as your primary supply, even though they’re only doing it for their data center and not the whole building, but it’d be very irresponsible to NOT have generator backup for their business.

    Basically, you’re making fun of them for engaging in a standard, responsible, business practice. Granted, its contrary to the ideology expressed on the pages of their paper, but they’re still a for profit corporation.

    Now, if they have to fire their diesel generators, that’s a big cost that they won’t want to incur any longer than necessary. Plus, the whole building probably shakes when they run them, and they belch a cloud of black smoke.

    Amazon has a facility near me with diesel generators, outside next to the building, for backup. The building just went up a couple years ago. The first time they fired them up to test them, they stained the whole side of the building black.

    They were too cheap to pay for an alternate feed from the power company, so whenever there’s an interruption on that circuit (half dozen or so in the past couple years) they don’t have a second circuit to switch to and instead have to fire up their generators. The cost is enormous.

      Ragspierre in reply to Aarradin. | November 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      “Plus, the whole building probably shakes when they run them, and they belch a cloud of black smoke.”

      WTF…???

      The CAT engine series is likely the same as the gas-powered gen-sets, which are just rigged with ignition systems instead of diesel injection.

      Modern diesels are essentially ALLLLLLL computer controlled and turbocharged. They DO NOT “belch smoke”. Some black ash, which you should not even be able to see.

      jdkchem in reply to Aarradin. | November 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      Shake the whole building? Did you get that bit of info from Kristof?

legalizehazing | November 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Really enjoyable read. Loved every bit of this

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