Hearst castle gassed up for Y2k

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Hearst Castle gassed up for Y2K

SAN SIMEON, Calif. (AP) -- Hearst Castle is gassed up for Y2K.

State parks officials have bought a Navy surplus, 800,000-watt gas-turbine generator for $10,000 and installed it on a hilltop pad.

The rest is up to castle electrician Lawrence "Sparky" Ross.

Pending delivery of some final switching equipment, Ross is ready to keep the former estate of late publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst humming if the Millennium Bug knocks out power.

"We're pretty much at the rural end of the line here," Ross said of the estate, which overlooks the rugged coastline 190 miles northwest of Los Angeles. "We'd be last to go back on, like any rural area."

Handed over to the state in 1957, Hearst Castle draws nearly 1 million visitors a year for guided tours.

Electricity powers the castle's lights, security and water pressure systems, fire suppression equipment, communications, temperature-and-humidity controls and a host of other gadgets.

The generator is more than up to the task if needed, said Ross, calculating it could produce enough power for 2,400 regular homes.

"Our fullest load is about half its capacity," Ross said.

-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), December 01, 1999


Not really that far from Sacramento, no? Ah, nice bunker for the California.gov bosses.

-- JIT (justintime@rightnow.net), December 01, 1999.

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