Power outage possible tonight at UCSC locations

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Public Affairs

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has informed UC Santa Cruz leaders that our main residential campus, Coastal Science Campus, and Westside Research Park may experience a power outage for an hour or two around 8 p.m. tonight as part of the series of rotating outages being utilized statewide to ease demand on the power grid caused by the heat wave gripping California.

This possible outage is not related to wildfire danger. PG&E has put together a list of frequently asked questions about the rotating outages.

If our main campus loses power, some buildings would remain online, powered by our cogeneration plant. Some of the buildings not on the cogeneration-plant feed have backup generators in place to supply emergency lighting. Several buildings would be completely without power. Designated land-line phones in the hallways of residence halls and in other common areas of residential buildings would be operational. Cellular coverage would likely be erratic.

An outage would likely impact both employee housing and graduate-student housing. The impact on Family Student Housing is unclear, and would depend on which grids PG&E de-energizes. Summer Session students who are staying at Colleges Nine and Ten should see minimal impact, as both colleges have generator support.

Additional guidance for students living on campus will be sent from Campus Housing.

An outage may make it difficult for some employees working tonight to do their jobs. University leaders recognize this impact. If you lose power at your worksite, please notify your supervisor and they will provide direction.

Outage tips

  • Share information about the outage with family and friends so they know they may not be able to contact you by phone or text during the outage.
  • Charge necessary electronics in advance.
  • Limit access to your refrigerator/freezer.
  • If you have medication that requires cold storage, keep it in your refrigerator for as long as it remains cold.
  • Keep computers and other electronics unplugged during the outage. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage electronics. Use a surge protector.
  • Obtain or locate a flashlight and ensure your batteries are operable.
  • Candles may not be lit in residence.