UC Berkeley preparing for weekend with limited power

Marc Fisher, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for administration, and Alicia Johnson, director of emergency management, issued the following message late Friday afternoon:

We are writing to provide an update to this morning’s campus message about the anticipated weekend PG&E power shut-off to campus that is set to begin on Saturday afternoon. We will move to our limited, back-up cogeneration plant starting at 12 p.m./noon Saturday. The situation is fluid, and we will provide our next update via email and on Berkeley News on Saturday afternoon.

Additional resources

Information for students, researchers and Berkeley residents can be found at the bottom of this post.


Our approach is to use the power we have available to protect life safety, support our students, prevent catastrophic losses of research assets and allow for a limited number of outdoor public engagements. Our cogeneration plant can do all of this, provided that power use stays below a threshold. If power use exceeds this threshold, it can trip the cogen plant. Therefore, we ask that you stay away from campus buildings unless you are managing a critical student or research need. UCPD will begin clearing all buildings (except residence halls) at noon and asking people to leave.

As you prepare to leave for the weekend, please turn off lights, computers, printers, laboratory hoods and any other non-essential equipment that can be powered down.

Possible differences from the last power outage

PG&E is predicting that the city of Berkeley and many other nearby cities may lose power, impacting traffic and services around the campus, so our decisions are being made in the context of a broader outage. The fires in Sonoma may generate smoke that starts to impact air quality.

City-based facilities (housing and offices) are likely to lose power, so anyone living or working in those places should plan to be without power and monitor city of Berkeley information sources.

Weekend Classes

Given the time needed to reduce power demand on campus in preparation for moving off the PG&E power source and converting to our co-generation plant, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday classes that meet after 12 p.m./noon.

To minimize disruptions, instructors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the resources described in the Center for Teaching and Learning’s website.

Student Housing/Dining

The following residence and dining halls will have power: Maximo Martinez Commons, Units 1,2,3 (including Cafe 3), Foothill Complex and Crossroads Dining.

Clark Kerr campus and Blackwell Hall are on city of Berkeley power sources and thus will lose power if the city loses power. The city of Berkeley is posting updates here.

Students who live off campus in areas that are affected by the power outage should make sure they have non perishable food and may also find this guide to surviving a blackout helpful.

Research

The Vice Chancellor for Research Office is providing updates on this site to the research community. Card access to buildings will be cut off starting at noon on Saturday. Anyone with a critical research need to enter their buildings will need special access. Please alert your building/facilities manager to alert them of any anticipated needs.

The Savio high-performance computing cluster will be kept operational on co-generated power.

Public-facing Events/Activities

Given our most recent information about the power outage, we have made the difficult decision that all indoor events and activities that are scheduled to take place on campus on Saturday afternoon and evening and all day Sunday must be canceled. This must be done in order to maintain a reduced energy load. Outdoor activities at the Greek Theatre, Lower Sproul Plaza and a select other venues may proceed; please contact the events coordinator to verify.

Please visit this page for information related to Information Technology, cell phone service and enterprise applications. University Health Services provided at the Tang Center will be providing services according to their normal weekend schedule to ensure continuity of care for our students. We are working on a solution for individuals who need to charge medical equipment and will convey that in a subsequent message.

Campus leadership continues to meet on a regular basis and consult with a variety of on-campus experts, including those in direct contact with PG&E.

Please continue to refer to Berkeley News for the latest updates.

Thank you.

Additional resources


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