[Possible OT] California, and running off of generators for extended periods

Allo, all... Watching what's going on in California, it occured to me,
and some of my colleagues, that the major colo and data centers (for
example, but not focusing on, Exodus, Colo.com, etc.) could assist in the
power crunch that California is having by shifting part, or all, of their
loads over to generator power -- one would think that a) diesel fuel is
still cheaper than electricity in California, price hikes lately
notwithstanding, and b) the goodwill generated by such an endeavor would
be good for the company. Admittedly, some sites with only limited battery
UPS power cannot do this, at least not so early in the day. But it seems
to me that at least a few datacenters and major facilities could switch
over to independent power and just keep fueling the generators.

Question: Why would (or wouldn't) your company switch your datacenter
loads to generator (or other off-mains) power sources, if you had the
capability and/or capacity?

Comments invited, especially from companies in CA, or with
offices/datacenters in CA. Comments will be aggregated and (re)posted at
a later date.

(note: this is posted from my personal account. This inquiry is NOT
related to my employer or employment, but is posed for information,
speculation, and discussion among the NANOG and Internet communities.)



I believe that you will find that it is no economical to run on generator
when on-mains power is available. The fuel is only one factor in the
overall cost of running on generator. Mechanical wear and tear is the
number one cost. The cost of power is will have to increase much more
before it becomes cost-effective to self-generate.

Note: Our facilities are NOT in CA but it still costs money to run the
generators in OH. <grin>