Planned power outage announced for Santa Cruz County

To: UC Santa Cruz community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced late Monday that it will likely preemptively cut power Wednesday to a large swath of Central and Northern California, including parts of Santa Cruz County, to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires during dry and extremely windy weather forecast for later this week.

PG&E has said that the planned outage is not anticipated to result in any power loss to the residential campus, Coastal Science Campus or Scott Valley Center. However, given that these are dynamic situations, the campus community should be prepared in the event that UCSC facilities are affected. 

Given remote instruction and remote work, many faculty, staff, and students may be without power at their residences, which may impact some classes or campus services. Employees should reach out to their manager or supervisor to plan for the possibility that they might be without power due to a planned PG&E outage. Instructors and students should discuss plans should they be without power due to the planned outage. 

Campus leaders have been monitoring the situation throughout the day, and our Office of Emergency Services has been in close communication with the Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services, which is working with PG&E officials on outage planning. 

PG&E is estimating that a planned outage in Santa Cruz County would start between 8-10 p.m. Wednesday and last through 10 p.m. Friday.  

If our main campus loses power, some parts of campus should remain online, powered by our cogeneration plant, while some buildings have backup generators in place to supply emergency lighting. Several buildings would be without power. Campus officials are currently working on various contingency plans depending on what unfolds. Please keep your eyes open for additional campus messages with more outage news.

Outage planning

In the interim, PG&E has assembled some online resources that explain a Public Safety Power Shutoff, how best to prepare for one, and what areas might be affected.