Campus & community, Campus news

Dwinelle, more buildings are being brought back onto the campus power grid

By Public Affairs

Dwinelle Hall was back on campus power Wednesday morning, as work continued steadily to restore UC Berkeley’s electrical grid to full functionality.

As of midday Wednesday, only a handful of facilities — California Hall, Durant Hall, Haas Pavilion, Alumni House, the Doe and Bancroft libraries — remained on generators because of the power outage that darkened the entire campus late in the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 30.  Although power was restored to most of the campus by the next day, a handful of buildings were kept on backup power or offline to allow for repairs to cables damaged by a fire.

Regular power to the remaining buildings will be slowly and carefully restored, by shutting down and disconnecting power from the generators and then splicing the cables to reconnect the buildings to the grid. As the power is turned on, Physical Plant and Campus Services (PPCS), has built in time for thorough testing at each step.

Building managers were consulted to make decisions about when each building could be shut down with the least inconvenience to the occupants, and most have been scheduled for evening hours.

Dwinelle was the first building reconnected to regular power. If all goes as planned, the entire campus will be back on the grid by Friday morning.

On Wednesday, crews reconnected Edwards Track, the campus co-generation plant and Environmental Health and Safety, which had been without power since the outage.

California and Durant halls, Doe Library and the Bancroft Library (Doe Annex) are scheduled to be shut down at 9 p.m. tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 9) and reconnected to the campus grid well before the start of the work day on Thursday.

The final buildings — Haas Pavilion (including the Recreational Sports Facility locker rooms), Alumni House and Dwinelle Annex — are scheduled to be shut down at 8 p.m. on Thursday and back on normal power before sunrise Friday.

As soon as repairs are complete, members of the campus’s High Voltage Team, plan to turn their attention to a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the outage. The campus will be kept updated on the investigation.