Academy Villas assisted living recently installed a 100,000 watt standby generator, as protection against future power outages. The 6,200 pound generator is equipped with a 300 gallon tank, providing a three-day supply of diesel fuel.

Arizona does not require standby generators at assisted living facilities. However, as noted by Gary Fenstermacher, the president of the non-profit corporation that owns Academy Villas, “Climate change poses serious risks for dependable electrical power, especially in Southwestern states currently experiencing severe challenges to the interstate power grid. We believe it is prudent to be prepared for disruptions in the supply of electricity. A standby generator provides assurance that our residents are protected from extremes of heat and cold, and have a safe and comfortable environment regardless of the state of the electrical grid.”

Installation of the generator was a sight to behold. A 90-ton crane, with 4000 pounds of counterweights, was positioned midway between the delivery trailer and the installation site. As the crane slowly lifted the generator off the trailer, the 90-foot extended boom began a sweeping arc of 170 degrees, then gracefully dropped the generator on its concrete pad within one and one-half inches of dead center. That feat was especially noteworthy since the crane operator, who could not see the generator as it dropped toward the pad, was guided by silent hand signals from his partner, who was standing near the top of the hill.