Sochi Powers Up: Bringing Energy to Site an Olympic Feat

At least 49 major energy projects were built for the winter games.
Feb 7, 2014 3:00 PM ET

In the middle of luge teams' November training sessions at Sliding Center Sanki, where they practiced supine sledding down a banked track at speeds near 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour, the lights went out. Electricity was restored and the luge workouts continued the following day, but the incident shook confidence in the massive energy-delivery system that Russia built to power the Sochi Winter Games.

Most of that infrastructure will be invisible, although its capacity will be on full display in the glittering spectacle of Friday's opening ceremony. (See Sochi Photos.)

The system's resilience no doubt will be scrutinized closely over the next two weeks. But one thing is certain: The energy systems built to power the Sochi Olympics are as historic as the $50 billion price tag for the games. (See related, “What You Don't Know About Sochi.”)

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