The new One World Trade Center tower in Manhattan has been touted as one of the most energy efficient skyscrapers in the world, but an article in Climate Desk, says the fuel cells in the tower’s basement were flooded and destroyed during Superstorm Sandy, and they have never been replaced.
The tower is run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in a joint venture with real estate firm the Durst Organization.
Although the owners removed the damaged fuel cells, there was no time to replace them. The tower’s anchor tenant CondeNast was scheduled to move in, requiring a loading dock to be constructed for the tenant. The loading dock would now have to be disassembled in order to replace the fuel cells.
Climate Desk discovered the fuel cell scenario in a 26-page internal document obtained from the Port Authority.
Nine fuel cells in total from UTC Power cost $10.6 million to supply power to three towers at the site, including One World Trade. The three fuel cells designated for Tower One were supposed to provide up to 10 percent of the building’s electricity source. The flooded fuel cells in the other towers have been replaced.
With no fuel cells in One World Trade, the owners have looked to other energy measures to achieve their power and energy efficiency goals in order to try and achieve LEED gold certification. Durst told Climate Desk the building will achieve the certification, but didn’t specify how.