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The recent increase in power outages has caused major problems with both campus operations and research. Facilities operations knows how disruptive to both operations and research this has been and are working diligently to resolve the issue. Most, if not all, of these outages have been caused by squirrels shorting circuits in the campus substation. Efforts to trap and relocate the squirrels have not resulted in a reduction of incidents.
Facilities operations is working on mitigating this problem with a long-term solution. The department’s plan is to install wildlife outage covers to prevent animal-related outages by protecting the connections and wire where risks are identified. The vendor’s representative has visited the substation and a quotation for the material is being prepared. The recommendations for applying the covers will be reviewed Tuesday, Feb. 16, by a consulting electrical engineer retained by the department.
It is not known if this past Monday afternoon’s power loss was caused by a squirrel. The process is underway to check the transformer for internal faults before putting it back in operation. This process will either eliminate or confirm that an internal transformer problem was the cause of the outage.
Facilities operations will keep you updated as to the progress of these efforts.