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Thursday
Jan132011

A building hidden in plain sight...

That ball of light at the very center of the country is Mexico City – one of the world’s largest cities, and my current home. In the words of former NYT bureau chief Alan Riding, a monster and a magnet. It is the belly of the country’s activity and consumption, and draws people from all over the country. Coordinating power supply for this city alone is a complicated task, particularly considering the rampant illegal connections. Powering the entire country - the world’s 14th largest economy - is an even more difficult undertaking. Mexico has just one power grid and it is coordinated from a building in the capital. Though the US has much greater power consumption, the country has several grids. Mexico’s grid is also roughly six times larger than the transmission infrastructure in all the Central American countries combined.
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In the article I chose not to address perhaps the most glaring question about Cenace: what would happen if someone (narcos, for example) bombed this place? The entire country would not likely plunge into darkness. Rather there would be the lack of a central functioning coordinator and Mexico would continue receiving power, albeit very inefficiently. One plant would be generating when another nearby is already churning out power, the hydroelectric system on the Grijalva river might not spring into action were a plant to fail in nearby Campeche state, etc. So there might be some brownouts or problems with power supply, but generally speaking the country could manage and probably wouldn't suffer extensive blackouts. It would be something akin to a chicken running around with its head cut off: it could run, it could flap its wings, but the entire shambling effort would be pitiful and disorganized. Still a pretty good reason keep Cenace's location on the down-low.

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    David L. Biller, Journalist - On Assignment - A building hidden in plain sight...
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    David L. Biller, Journalist - On Assignment - A building hidden in plain sight...
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    David L. Biller, Journalist - On Assignment - A building hidden in plain sight...
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    Response: flashcard cho be
    David L. Biller, Journalist - On Assignment - A building hidden in plain sight...

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