Although there’s probably an obvious answer for this question that someone can easily explain, I haven’t found a satisfying answer in any of the reports I’ve read in the NY papers:
Why, 7 years into the 21st century, is it still necessary to pipe large amounts of steam throughout a city?
Is it because somebody needs steam or is it that somebody doesn’t want steam? What has Con Ed doing down there for the last century? My best guess is secret, underground Boingboing wet dream Steampunk society.