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Does the NSA Need More Electricity? 324

An anonymous reader writes "The Baltimore sun (NSA watchers can't live without it) reports that the NSA worries about overloading the Baltimore energy grid if it were to install new computing capacity at it's Fort Meade HQ. This includes two multi million dollar supercomputers. Some systems are reportedly not getting the cooling they need. The temperature in NSA buildings is raised two degrees to conserve energy, according to the article. The NSA is Baltimore Gas and Electric`s (BGE) biggest customer the sun reports. Former NSA employees fear that a power outage at Fort Meade would have worse consequences than the 2000 "information overload" related outage. The NSA does apparently not have the backup power generation capacity to power the whole facility during power outages. Some point a finger at a new mall build in the area, but a BGE spokesman says the mall is "fairly easily accommodated". Some sources say the problem was identified in the late 90`s. But "keeping the lights on" wasn't a priority. A $4 million computer upgrade to the system that allocates power was postponed for budgetary reasons. (the NSA budged is estimated at $8 Billion) The article reports that the budget documents for listening posts around the world report similar infrastructural problems, in the budgets for 07 as well as previous years. It should be noted that the huge "groundbreaker" IT infrastructure upgrade program is reportedly over budget and late, but not yet fully operational."

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