University of California, San Diego



August 3, 2000

ALL AT UCSD (including UCSD Healthcare)

SUBJECT:  Campus Electric Service

On several occasions since the beginning of electrical deregulation and more frequently during the months of July and August this year, SDG&E has issued an emergency alert to its large customers such as UCSD, requesting voluntary reductions of non-essential electrical loads. UCSD Physical Plant Services Department has voluntarily reduced the campus electrical loads by carefully and selectively turning off large electrical consuming motors and air conditioning equipment at the Central Utility Plant and in a number of auxiliary systems throughout the campus. So far we have not had to curtail any essential loads that would impact programs and research activities.

The California Independent Power System Operation (ISO) manages the flow of electricity along the high-voltage power lines that make up California's transmission system. They monitor energy usage throughout the state and determine when both voluntary conservation measures and involuntary electrical curtailments (black-outs) are necessary. The emergency stages are defined by the California Independent Power System Operator and based on the system's estimated operating reserves. These reserves are monitored by the Independent System Operator and forecasted levels of power reserves are made throughout the day.

The emergency stages are defined as follows:

Stage 1 Emergency - The first emergency stage will be declared by the ISO when the operating reserves are forecasted to be less than 7%.
Stage 2 Emergency - The second emergency stage will be declared by the ISO when the operating reserves are forecasted to be less than 5%.
Stage 3 Emergency - The third emergency stage will be declared by the ISO when the operating reserves are forecasted to be less than 1.5 %.

The whole idea behind this staging is that if enough people will voluntarily reduce electrical use at Stage 1 then we would not move to stage 2. Again, if enough people reduce consumption during a stage 2 alert, then we would not experience stage 3.

Stage 3 is a serious concern for the campus as well as all of San Diego. SDG&E has told us that they would implement rolling power outages in order to maintain the overall integrity of the supply system. Exactly how this would occur and which parts of San Diego would be affected first or caught in the "roll" is not certain. This would partially depend on how much load needs to be reduced and how much load is in a particular block of customers. At this time we do not know which block that the campus is assigned but we do know that it is not block #1.

Should SDG&E have to curtail power on any given day, then they would make every attempt to call in advance of the outage. Advance notice would depend on whether the Independent Systems Operator notifies SDG&E in advance.

Taking all of this into consideration, we will continue our voluntary conservation efforts and ask you to reduce electrical use in your work spaces wherever possible. This is especially important during the peak electrical consumption hours from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. These efforts need to remain in effect as long as high temperatures remain in many areas of the state.

Physical Plant Services is not prepared to police electrical reduction activities in any areas that we do not directly control. We will rely on the campus departments to voluntarily do their part. We will, however, continue to reduce electrical consumption in our electrical/mechanical operations of the Central Utility Plant and throughout campus facilities.

We appreciate your cooperation to reduce your electrical consumption whenever you receive an energy alert.

If you have specific questions that I can answer please contact me at (858) 534-6267 or by email at jhug@ucsd.edu.

                                                Jack Hug
                                                Assistant Vice Chancellor -
                                                Auxiliary & Plant Services