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Los Angeles, California

Power for the Oscars

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Keeping LA Quenched and Cool

A single gen-set system provides backup power for the nation’s largest water and power utility.

With all of Los Angeles County - the nation's second-largest metropolitan area by population, to monitor, it was important that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) had enough power to back up its computer monitoring and air conditioning systems in the event of a utility failure. Not surprisingly the LADWP is considered the largest municipal water and power utility in the U.S. and serves 3.8 million residents and businesses.

Enercon designed and built a single generator set to back up the LADWP central office in downtown L.A. That same central office is responsible for monitoring several remote offices as well, making continuous power that much more important.

Because of the downtown location of the gen-set, the unit had to meet high sound attenuation requirements. Noise emissions were limited to 72 dB(A) by moving the air intakes from the side of the unit to roof-mounted “penthouse” intakes. Intake air is drawn into one penthouse, travels through the switchgear compartment, through the gen-set compartment, and is then sent through the radiator and discharged through the other penthouse.

The package also meets stringent seismic code ratings, as Los Angeles is considered a prime area for potentially severe earthquakes. To address that concern, the gen-set base was made more rigid and all the larger components are spring isolated.

For the times when the power grid has gone down, the generator has kicked in with an average 8-second delay.


Project Specifications


- 16 Cylinders MTU Detroit Diesel Series 4000

- 3,000 HP

- Horizontal radiator w/ electric fan cooling


- 2.0 Megawatts

- 480 Volts

- 60Hertz



- Sound attenuated to 72db(A) @ 23 ft.

- Seismic code 4

- Modular construction, 14 ga. steel

- 50 ft. x 12 ft. x 10 ft.

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