October 11, 2019


SUBJECT:    Update on California Power Outages

As you may be aware, other UC Campuses, and UC Santa Cruz in particular, are being impacted by planned power outages as directed by the regional Utility Provider. This message is intended to communicate to the campus community how UC San Diego is prepared for such an event and what you should personally do in any type of power outage situation to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

To comply with new state regulations concerning electrically-caused wildfires, PG&E, SCE and SDG&E are required to de-energize transmission lines when certain weather conditions are met (i.e. Santa Ana Conditions).

In the SDG&E region, it is the eastern, back country areas that are most at risk. Fortunately, these areas can be de-energized without impacting the campus.

Please keep in mind that a power outage can occur at any time. Fortunately, UC San Diego is prepared to limit the negative impact of an SDG&E power outage to the campus. Our main resource which will limit this impact is our Campus Utility Plant (CUP) and the multitude of back-up emergency generators, both stationary and portable, that we have strategically positioned throughout the campus.

If UC San Diego were to experience a regional blackout, our campus has the capability to separate and island ourselves off from the SDG&E grid. Our CUP can then generate our own power to support identified critical loads within its capacity. And, once the campus is islanded from the SDG&E grid, all other loads can be progressively added using our emergency generators.

And while UC San Diego is ready, we must all be prepared for the worst case scenario which is a total blackout and our CUP and emergency generators do not function properly. Knowing how to exit your building in an emergency and where to assemble is the most important step to take. Please follow this link to refresh yourself on UC San Diego’s emergency guidelines:

We encourage the campus community to review their emergency plans, especially for active and critical research activities, to ensure that your areas are properly protected.

To learn more about the campus power system, follow this link:

Gary C. Matthews
Vice Chancellor
Resource Management & Planning

Stephen B. Jackson
Associate Vice Chancellor
Resource Management & Planning