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NC State Unplugged

As part of keeping the lights on at NC State, the power will have to go off for six hours of repairs on Sunday. A planned outage will interrupt utility service to most of the main campus from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Electricity, steam, distilled water, hot water, air conditioning and heating will be shut down while a 49-year-old transformer is repaired at the Sullivan Electrical Substation. A recent inspection showed a leak of insulating oil that could cause arcing, damage and power loss.

Backup generators are being brought in to protect research facilities.

“Kilgore Hall, for example, will be powered by its own generator,” says Eric Dean, power systems engineer with the university. “The greatest concern we’ve heard is from research and development. We’re taking steps to keep from losing, in some cases, years of research.”

Web and E-mail May Be Available

While backup generators will protect critical facilities, including research freezers kept at  -80 degrees Celsius, less cool air will be available for servers in campus data centers. Some servers will be taken off line, although the Office of Information Technology expects that grade processing, Web services and e-mail will be available.

OIT  recommends that faculty, staff and students avoid using online services between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday if possible.

Because the outage will affect almost all of the main campus – an area bounded by Gorman, Western, Pullen and Hillsborough, along with the McKimmon Center – it’s a good idea to turn off computers before leaving for the weekend, Dean says.

“We’re just asking faculty and staff to take a six-hour hiatus. We’re hoping it won’t cause complications.”

If all goes as expected, crews with NC State’s power services and Progress Energy will make repairs in the lull following graduation, and all systems will be go again when faculty and staff return Monday.